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Tribunals of Inquiry.

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 15 June 2004

Tuesday, 15 June 2004

Ceisteanna (315, 316, 317, 318)

Olivia Mitchell

Ceist:

366 Ms O. Mitchell asked the Minister for Health and Children the cost to date of the Dunne inquiry. [17297/04]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Olivia Mitchell

Ceist:

367 Ms O. Mitchell asked the Minister for Health and Children if the possible sale of body parts either within or outside the country is the subject of investigation as part of the Dunne inquiry. [17298/04]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Olivia Mitchell

Ceist:

368 Ms O. Mitchell asked the Minister for Health and Children if the judge and Senior Counsel investigating the organ retention issue are working on the Dunne inquiry full-time. [17299/04]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Olivia Mitchell

Ceist:

369 Ms O. Mitchell asked the Minister for Health and Children if he has received in recent weeks an interim or final report from the Dunne inquiry. [17300/04]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Minister for Health and Children)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 366 to 369, inclusive, together.

The cost to the end of May 2004 of the Dunne inquiry is €15.3 million. The inquiry, under its terms of reference, will investigate and report on the issue of the possible sale of body parts either within or outside the country. I am informed that senior counsel on the inquiry team are working full-time on the business of the inquiry apart from a very few exceptional outstanding cases with which they must deal. There is no judge assigned to the inquiry.

I await the chairman's report on the paediatric hospitals. The chairman has informed me that, with some exceptions, the information gathering regarding paediatric hospitals is complete, and the issue of analysing the information and establishing which matters remain in dispute has been concluded. The inquiry must now deal with the resolution of matters in dispute and the conclusion of the report. That involves: communication to participants of matters in dispute; written evidence regarding matters in dispute; such oral hearings as are necessary regarding matters in dispute; resolution of such matters; and the opportunity for participants to make submissions where the report proposes to make criticisms.

The inquiry further advises that it has at all times kept in mind the need to be in a position to proceed with its work regarding the maternity hospitals as soon as the paediatric hospitals report has been completed. The inquiry has therefore continued to work in that regard to ensure that all documentation will be available to the inquiry when required. Preparation for reports on other hospitals continues, but the primary concern of the inquiry at present is the completion of the report on paediatric hospitals.

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