'No Record' Of HSE Union Funding

Irish Health officials can "find no records" setting out precisely why it sanctioned an annual grant of about €250,000 to the trade union Siptu.

However, it has been shown that it was paid into a bank account operated by a leading official of the union and a senior member.

Michael Scanlan, Secretary General of the Department of Health, has told the Dáil Public Accounts Committee that the official files did not explain the purpose for which the payments were to be used.

What was uncovered was news that the payment was sanctioned in 2001 and was agreed against a backdrop of a period when there had been considerable industrial unrest in the health service.

He said that at that time there had been agreements to provide so-called 'up-skilling' for a number of groups in the health service.

The money was channelled by the Department of Health through the Skill training programme which aimed give lower-paid staff such as porters, home helps and cleaning personnel a training fillip as part of a scheme was operated by the Health Service Executive (HSE).


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