Robert Watt refuses to answer Dáil committee investigating Holohan’s botched Trinity deputation


This was reported to a senior official by the Oireachtas Finance Committee Robert Watts that he was “disappointed” that he received the requested information about the botched deployment of Dr Tony Holohan to Trinity College.

Hair of the Committee John McGuinness wrote to Mr Watt today that “despite extensive efforts” the secretary-general of the Department of Health has not responded to an invitation to come before the committee or provide any documents appointing Dr. to submit holohan.

That Fianna Fail TD also criticized Mr Watts’ “lack of commitment and apparent unwillingness” to discuss issues “of significant public importance”.

“The Committee is disappointed that, despite extensive efforts by the Committee Secretariat to follow up this correspondence, you have not yet responded to the requests for information or his invitation for you to attend a meeting of this Committee this week.

“The Committee notes your lack of engagement and apparent unwillingness to discuss and resolve matters of significant public interest.”

The committee has given Mr Watt a new deadline of tomorrow to submit relevant documents and attend a meeting of the committee tomorrow, which is scheduled to be attended by Secretary General of the Department of the Taoiseach, Martin Fraser.

“However, the Committee would like to advise you that it intends to keep this matter under review and reiterates its request that you provide the information requested and attend its public meeting on Wednesday, April 27, 2022 at 1:30 p.m..”

Mr McGuinness requested the following information from Mr Watt: details of the agreed terms in relation to the proposed secondment, a “full report” on the “process and events” of the secondment, correspondence between himself and Health Secretary Stephen Donnelly, correspondence between the Department of Health and Trinity College, and the Department’s internal correspondence.

Mr McGuinness has also asked Mr Watt to provide “memos or briefing notes” given to Cabinet, minutes of meetings at which the issue was discussed in the department’s senior management group and any correspondence with Mr Fraser or the department’s general secretary by Public Issues David Moloney.

Mr. Fraser will appear before the committee tomorrow to express his involvement in the secondment of Dr. to discuss Holohan at Trinity College, which was interrupted by the Taoiseach and where Dr. Holohan later announced that he would not be taking her.

An external review of the delegation is currently underway after Mr Watt has produced his own report.

Mr McGuinness has previously been scathing in his criticism of Mr Watt, particularly when controversy erupted last year over the details of his €80,000 pay rise when he became the top official at the Department of Health. Robert Watt refuses to answer Dáil committee investigating Holohan’s botched Trinity deputation

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