Whistleblower raised concerns over nursing home charges with Varadkar in 2019

Whistleblower Raised Concerns Over Nursing Home Charges With Varadkar In 2019 Whistleblower Raised Concerns Over Nursing Home Charges With Varadkar In 2019
Leo Varadkar, © PA Wire/PA Images
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A whistle-blower alerted Taoiseach Leo Varadkar to the State's legal strategy to limit refunds on illegal nursing home charges in 2019, it has emerged.

The Irish Times reports that Department of Health official Shane Corr emailed Mr Varadkar on in December 2019, expressing concern that billions of euro in repayments of long-stay nursing home charges were being put “out of reach” of “largely old and helpless people”.

The actions were being carried out “in secrecy” and “put well beyond the normal mechanisms established to scrutinise the Government”, he said in his email, the receipt of which was acknowledged by the Taoiseach’s department.

On Monday, the Taoiseach told Newstalk radio that he was never party to the legal strategy. RTÉ reported on Tuesday that a Government spokesperson confirmed the existence of a legal strategy around nursing home charges, but said that it has been "misrepresented".


On Sunday, the Irish Mail on Sunday reported Mr Corr's claims of a secret government strategy to limit pay-outs to people on medical cards – who would have been entitled to nursing home care provided by the State – by settling cases out of court.

The report claimed a secret memo — issued in 2011, it is alleged — outlined the strategy, and that a number of senior government minister were aware of the memo.

“This relates to a 2011 memo which was – it would appear – circulated to four members (of government). None of the people who are in the current government, I understand, were on the distribution list for this memo," Mr Varadkar said on Monday.

“So as far as I know, I haven’t seen it and didn’t at the time. But we are trying to check out all those facts."

RTÉ on Tuesday reported a Government spokesperson stating that a legal strategy pre-dated 2011.

The Attoney General has been asked to investigate the matter. - Additional reporting PA.

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