Before we adjourn, I wish to raise one matter, which is not related to today's business. Information has come into the public domain since we met last week that is relevant to a previous meeting on 4 March 2010, which was attended by witnesses from the HSE, including Professor Brendan Drumm and Ms Laverne McGuinness. Ms McGuinness stated at the meeting 14 weeks ago:
Twenty children have died in the care of the health services over the past ten years. Some of them died from natural causes, as a result of congenital defects, or by misadventure.
The information to which I refer has been released by the HSE since last week's meeting; hence, this is my first opportunity to raise it. According to the HSE, 37 children have died in the care of the health services over the last ten years, 19 of whom died from natural causes, while 18 died of unnatural causes. I am not satisfied, as a member of this committee, about the fact that information was given to us in public session which subsequently transpired not to be true, especially on an issue as important and sensitive as this. The HSE thinks it does not have a responsibility to come back and correct the record. We must bear in mind that HSE staff cannot be tackled in the Dáil Chamber; we can only ask them questions here.
The quote I provided was the direct answer given to a question I put that day. I want Ms McGuinness to appear here next Thursday morning to explain the difference between the figure she gave here in public session and those published last week. It is not on for public servants to come in here and give information that subsequently proves not to be true, thinking there are no consequences. It is too serious a topic to ignore, and we would be ignoring our responsibilities if we did not act when statements given on the public record were subsequently found not to be true. Next Thursday morning we are issuing our annual report, so we have a free hour. I want Ms Laverne McGuinness here in public session to discuss this topic.
I want agreement on this before we leave. It is not my fault there are so few of us here; that is the way it is. I could have interrupted business much earlier, but I did not want to.