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Dáil Éireann - Private Members Business (Sinn Féin)
Wednesday 28th June 2017

“That Dáil Éireann:


— the serious side effects of the anti-malaria drug Mefloquine (Lariam) on some Irish Defence Forces personnel serving overseas in peacekeeping missions in the sub‑Saharan region of the African continent;

— that these side effects have resulted in serious and prolonged psychotic and psychiatric behaviour and suicidal tendencies, including the possible death by suicide of some military personnel;

— the failure by the Department of Defence to implement a comprehensive screening programme to monitor the effects of Lariam on the estimated 4,500 plus Irish Defence Forces personnel who have received it since it was made drug of first resort for sub‑Saharan Africa in 2000;

— that most of the world’s major military powers have, on the back of overwhelming evidence, completely banned Lariam or use it only as a drug of last resort for their soldiers;

— that the Irish Defence Forces is now one of the few armies in the world to administer Lariam as the only drug of first resort for its serving overseas soldiers in areas where there is a high risk of malaria;

— that RTÉ’s Investigations Unit engaged international medical experts whose analysis in their report in 2013 concluded that Irish Defence Forces personnel who had taken Lariam were three to five times more at risk from suicide; and

— the findings of a public inquiry by the British military, led by retired Lieutenant Colonel Dr. Ashley Croft and retired USA military Major Dr. Remington Nevin, two world experts into the effects of Lariam, who recommend that Lariam should be a drug of last resort and that the prescription of the drug should only be made under the most rigorous supervision; and

calls on the Government to:

— instruct the military authorities to immediately cease administering Lariam to all Irish soldiers as the drug of first resort and to replace it with proven safer alternatives such as Doxycycline or Malarone, and Lariam should only ever be the drug of last resort where no suitable safer alternative is available; and

— instruct the Department of Defence, in conjunction with the Health Service Executive, the military authorities and in consultation with the representative bodies for serving and former soldiers, to draw up a plan of action to help alleviate and address the ongoing concerns regarding the anti-malaria drug Lariam issued to military personnel serving on overseas missions in sub-Saharan Africa in the past.” — Aengus Ó Snodaigh, Gerry Adams, John Brady, Pat Buckley, Seán Crowe, David Cullinane, Pearse Doherty, Dessie Ellis, Martin J. Ferris, Kathleen Funchion, Martin Kenny, Mary Lou McDonald, Denise Mitchell, Imelda Munster, Carol Nolan, Jonathan O'Brien, Eoin Ó Broin, Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin, Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire, Louise O'Reilly, Maurice Quinlivan, Brian Stanley, Peadar Tóibín, Thomas P. Broughan, Clare Daly, Catherine Connolly, Thomas Pringle, Richard Boyd Barrett, Bríd Smith, Gino Kenny, Bobby Aylward, John Brassil, Declan Breathnach, James Browne, Mary Butler, Thomas Byrne, Jackie Cahill, Dara Calleary, Pat Casey, Shane Cassells, Jack Chambers, Lisa M. Chambers, Niall Collins, Barry Cowen, John Curran, Stephen S. Donnelly, Timmy Dooley, Sean Fleming, Pat the Cope Gallagher, Seán Haughey, Billy Kelleher, John Lahart, James Lawless, Marc MacSharry, Micheál Martin, Charlie McConalogue, Michael McGrath, John McGuinness, Aindrias Moynihan, Michael Moynihan, Eugene Murphy, Margaret Murphy O'Mahony, Darragh O'Brien, Jim O'Callaghan, Éamon Ó Cuív, Willie O'Dea, Kevin O'Keeffe, Fiona O'Loughlin, Frank O'Rourke, Anne Rabbitte, Eamon Scanlon, Brendan Smith, Niamh Smyth, Robert Troy.