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  1. #26
    Non Temetis Messor The real Jack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hptmurphy View Post
    I trust you never saw Irish Steel up close and personal in the mid to late 1980s and read the reports on the residues remaining?
    Never saw it operating, I'll try did out those reports to read. It wasn't a big plant and it wasn't operating that long. If the place was such a big poison factory how is there surviving NS members, workers and Cobh residents? It's very convenient to blame everything on Irish steel when half of the cork harbour residents work in other polluting plants that did what they want at the time be it Whitegate/Pfizer/IFI and whoever else.
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  2. #27
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    There was a steel mill operating in the site since the 1920s. Irish steel begun operating from there in the 1970s and increased the size and output. They also took over much of the island and increased its land area in the 80s through dumping of slag .
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  3. #28
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    Aaaannnnnnd credibility for the CoS is gone.

    Minister Paul Kehoe @defenceforces briefed on @IrishAirCorps high level of services & safety standards. @seancclancy & team, leaders in just safety culture. 1000km offshore IE nowhere to pull over, simply the best, #technicians. Watch out recruiting soon! https://t.co/EsDNA0vHd3
    Leaders in just safety culture #IrishAirCorps? Are you for real Mark? Decades long toxic chemical exposure. Two former personnel dead since Xmas. Tell us what Air Corps poisoned us with! #FakeNews #Putinesque
    #TechniciansExpendable #Dail

    https://t.co/oUuQ8ojxx5
    https://twitter.com/DF_COS/status/95...0%7Ctwterm%5E1

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  5. #29
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    http://www.thejournal.ie/air-corps-p...26508-Feb2018/

    Today I am passing you a list of 56 verified deaths of serving and former colleagues. Average age: 48'
    The whistleblower claims the number of deaths has risen sharply.
    15 hours ago 42,105 Views 35 Comments Share416 Tweet Email3
    Air Corp and Navy members of the Captains Guard of Honour at the GPO Air Corp and Navy members of the Captains Guard of Honour at the GPO
    Image: Eamonn Farrell via RollingNews.ie
    A NEW PROTECTED disclosure has been sent to Defence Minister Paul Kehoe detailing a number of “verified deaths” of those allegedly affected by the Air Corps chemical scandal.

    It’s the contention of a number of Air Corps members, who have since retired, that the effects of the chemicals they handled as part of their work contributed to dozens of workers at the Baldonnel Airfield becoming ill.

    In a protected disclosure made by one of the workers last year, it has also been alleged that the partners of male members of the force suffered serious fertility issues and a number of miscarriages. Other children, according to the previous protected disclosure, are living with life-changing illnesses and, in some cases, have died.

    But a new disclosure, submitted last week, claims that the number of untimely deaths from the scandal has “grown exponentially”.

    The former Defence Forces members are currently suing the state for damages.

    For the last two years, one whistleblower has been collecting information about the premature deaths of his colleagues in the Air Force. He accesses death records and is able to see the cause of death of the Air Corps member. The name, rank, cause of death and age of the person is then collated.

    It has previously been alleged that the Defence Forces failed to protect workers from exposure to harmful chemicals which have been proven to cause various cancers and autoimmune diseases.

    The new protected disclosure, seen by TheJournal.ie, reads: “Today I am passing you a list of 56 verified deaths of serving and former colleagues with an average age of death of 48. For my research I arbitrarily started from 1 January 1980 and only counted the deaths of persons who died at or before the State Pension age of 66. The list contains persons who died from medical reasons or suicide.

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  7. #30
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    Files on chemical exposure in the Air Corps have gone missing

    https://www.irishexaminer.com/irelan...missing-466983

    The Department of Defence only sought to find the documents after their alleged destruction was raised in the Dáil — more than 12 months after it received the whistleblower’s claim.

    A protected disclosure sent to the then Minister of Defence Simon Coveney in December 2015 warned that a named senior member of the Air Corps destroyed reports, dating back to the 1990s, which raised concerns about the levels of toxic chemicals in workshops in Casement Aerodrome.

    The same official was named in a subsequent disclosure by a second whistleblower who also alleged the documents were destroyed.

    The years given by the whistleblower for the destroyed documents match those of inspection reports of Casement Aerodrome that the Department itself admits cannot be found.

    When asked previously if there are plans to investigate the documents’ disappearance, junior defence minister Paul Kehoe has told the Dáil that he has been “advised by the military authorities that there are no plans to carry out an investigation into why these reports cannot be located.”

    The issue of the missing documents was raised in the Dáil by Sinn Féin TD Aengus Ó Snodaigh in February 2017.

    The following May, Mr Kehoe wrote to Mr Ó Snodaigh to say that he undertook to revert to military authorities about the reports — and that they confirmed they cannot be located.

    The State is defending seven High Court cases taken by former Air Corps members who say their chronic illnesses — including cancer and brain disorders — because they were unduly exposed to toxic chemicals while cleaning and servicing aircraft.

    The State has denied any responsibility in the cases, and in one case told the court that “no admission is made that the defendants exposed the plaintiff to dangerous chemicals or solvents whether on an ongoing basis or at all”.

    Since 2015, a number of whistleblowers have made protected disclosures about working conditions at Casement Aerodrome, and have alleged that documents were destroyed as part of efforts to cover up the extent of the Air Corps’ knowledge of the problems.

    One of those whistleblowers made a protected disclosure in December 2015 in which he alleged that a named official “wilfully destroyed evidence throughout the years”.

    Mr Ó Snodaigh and Fianna Fáil TD Lisa Chambers have both seen copies of the documents in question and have raised their concern as to their contents.

    In February 2017, Mr Ó Snodaigh told the Dáil he had “seen health and safety reports going back as far as 1995, all of which pointed specifically to the issues that were addressed in the Examiner newspaper”.

    “This is a cover-up because the military authorities in Casement Aerodrome did not take the required steps; when it was highlighted to them that dangerous chemicals existed, they didn’t take those steps,” he said.

    Last year, Ms Chambers wrote to then-Taoiseach Enda Kenny about the documents.

  8. #31
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    It would be interesting to see if Section 7 of the National Archives Act, 1986 applies to this situation.

  9. #32
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    Air Corps whistleblowers were not asked for more information, minister says

    https://www.irishexaminer.com/irelan...ation-minister

    Saturday, February 24, 2018
    Joe Leogue
    The Department of Defence has not sought any further information from whistleblowers, on allegations that key Defence Forces documents were destroyed, a junior Minister has confirmed.


    The documents are health-and-safety reports that allegedly reveal the Air Corps was warned about the air quality in Casement Aerodrome as far back as the 1990s.

    The State is defending seven High Court claims from former Air Corps staff, who say their chronic illnesses were caused by undue exposure to chemicals in Casement Aerodrome.

    In a document seen by the Irish Examiner, the State has denied liability in at least one case and said “if the plaintiff suffered any personal injury, loss or damage, it was not caused by any act or omission on its part, or was not a reasonably foreseeable consequence of any such act or omission”.

    Earlier this month, the Irish Examiner revealed that, in a protected disclosure, a whistleblower warned the Department in December, 2015 that a named official “willfully destroyed evidence throughout the years”, but “wasn’t aware... that copies were made of certain files that showed dangerous levels of toxic chemicals in various workshops, as early as 1995 and 1997”.

    The Department did not search for these reports, compiled by Enterprise Ireland’s predecessor, Forbairt, until more than a year later, when Sinn Féin defence spokesman, Aengus Ó Snodaigh, raised the issue in the Dáil.

    Two more whistleblowers have since supported the allegations, one naming the same official identified in the December 2015 disclosure. Some disclosures to the Government have also been made to opposition politicians.

    Following the Irish Examiner report earlier this month, Mr O’Snodaigh submitted a parliamentary question to Junior Defence Minister Paul Kehoe in which he asked “if his department sought further information from the relevant whistleblower, regarding health and safety reports, which they allege were destroyed as part of a cover-up within the Air Corps; and, if not, the reason therefor”.

    “No specific information has been sought from the correspondents, in relation to reports which were the subject of an allegation of destruction contained in correspondence which was also sent to the Deputy,” Mr Kehoe said.

    Last year, Mr Kehoe ruled out any investigation into the reports’ disappearance. “The authorities have indicated there are a range of potential causes for the loss of the reports, such as the changeover of electronic recording systems in 2004 or that the reports were misplaced over time,” he told the Dáil.

    © Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved

  10. #33
    Moderator DeV's Avatar
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    Why don’t they just ask for the HSA reports from when they were talking about prosecution?

  11. #34
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    https://www.irishexaminer.com/breaki...ed-900464.html

    Air corps whistleblower was ‘isolated, vilified’
    Monday, January 28, 2019 - 12:00 AM

    By Joe Leogue
    Irish Examiner Reporter

    Follow @JoeLeogue
    An air corps whistleblower has written to the Defence Forces Chief of Staff to inform him of his decision to retire early over what he has claimed is the authority’s failure to protect him.

    The decision comes two months after the whistleblower wrote to junior defence minister Paul Kehoe complaining of the “unwarranted treatment” he has received since he submitted a protected disclosure on health-and-safety issues.



    In this communication with Mr Kehoe, the whistleblower included signed statements from two air corps personnel, the contents of which, he said, were evidence of an attempt by those in authority to “isolate and vilify” him and turn his colleagues against him.

    He is one of three whistleblowers to make complaints about the chemical exposure suffered by air corps maintenance staff, the details of which were first revealed by the Irish Examiner two years ago.

    The whistleblower’s decision to retire follows the outcome of a redress-of-wrongs complaint he submitted against his commanding officer, after he learned that his superior delayed processing paperwork relating to his continued service in the air corps for nearly three years.

    In his complaint, the whistleblower said he believed this failure to process this paperwork was as a consequence of his decision to submit a separate protected disclosure in 2014 about the lack of qualifications of those signing off on aircraft maintenance work.

    In responding to the complaint, the commanding officer said he waited to process the documentation, as the whistleblower was on sick leave at the time of the application. He added he was not in a position to decide whether he could recommend that the whistleblower was fit to continue in the air corps.



    The commanding officer further pointed to previous complaints made against him by the whistleblower, which he said constitutes “a consistent pattern of vindictive and bullying behaviour” against him.

    In his concluding remarks, seen by the Irish Examiner, the officer investigating the complaint last September ruled that applications for continuance in service should be processed within reasonable timeframe and that a period of almost three years does not seem reasonable.

    However, he said it was not unreasonable for the commanding officer to form the view that the whistleblower’s sick leave at the time of his application was enough for him not to recommend a continuation of service, but that he should have issued a non-recommendation, rather than leave the application in limbo.

    He further said the whistleblower’s call for disciplinary action against his commanding officer was “disproportionate”, given the whistleblower continued to serve throughout the period, and suffered no loss in pay or terms as a result of the incident.

    The investigating officer said relations between the two men had “broken down to a significant extent” and suggested mediation between the pair.

    He also said it is “is important that [the whistleblower] be assured that he will in no way be penalised or prejudiced for having made any protected disclosures”.

    “Where matters of concern are raised by any member of the air corps, they should be supported, and, where necessary, protected, for their efforts to bring about positive change,” said the investigator.

    In November, the whistleblower wrote to Mr Kehoe to complain that he was receiving “continuing and unwarranted treatment” as a result of his disclosures, and attached two signed statements by named air corps personnel.



    One member stated he was told he was precluded from a meeting he had arranged about outsourcing metal work to a private company because he had been seen speaking to the whistle-blower.

    The other air corps member said that, last July, a flight sergeant complained about the health and safety regime that came into place since protected disclosures were made about conditions in the air corps.

    He alleged the sergeant said:

    You can thank [the whistleblower] for this; he is getting exactly what he wants now; we won’t be able to have any chemicals in the hanger now, thanks to him

    The whistleblower told Mr Kehoe that he rejected his commanding officer’s statement that none of the whistleblower’s complaints against him were upheld.

    He further said the commanding officer’s allegation that his complaints were “vindictive and bullying” were deliberate lies, “in an attempt to blacken my name and influence the outcome of the military investigating officer’s investigation”.

    “It appears that, in exercising my legal right to submit a complaint against my commanding officer, in circumstances where I believe I have been wronged, is now deemed by my commanding officer to be an abuse of process, vindictive, and bullying,” the whistleblower wrote.

    “I now respectfully request you, as the Minister with Responsibility for Defence, to please clarify your position on this issue.”

    Three weeks later, Mr Kehoe’s private secretary replied to direct the whistleblower to submit his complaint to the Defence Forces ombudsman.



    Last month, the Defence Forces Chief of Staff, Vice Admiral Mark Mellett, in noting the findings of the whistleblower’s redress of wrongs, recognised “the quality of the investigating officer’s report, and the clear, concise and balanced manner in which it is presented.”

    “This office acknowledges, and will at all times vindicate, the rights of personnel to submit grievances through the appropriate channels,” he said.

    However, Vice Admiral Mellett said “no complaint, in any format, insulates a complainant from the requirement to act in accordance with military discipline”.

    “I consider some of the comments made by the complainant in the course of this application to be, at best, questionable and contrary to Defence Forces values,” he said.

    In informing Vice Admiral Mellett of his intention to retire this month, the whistleblower said he has yet to receive assurances that he would not be penalised or prejudiced for having made any protected disclosures, as per the investigating officer’s recommendations.

    “I note that both you, as the Chief of Staff of the Defence Forces and General Office commanding the air corps, both failed to provide any such assurances,” the whistleblower said.

    Responding to this newspaper, both the Defence Forces and the Department of Defence issued similar statements, in which they said they “cannot go into detail, in relation to any actions being taken on foot of any individual disclosure, so as to ensure that such individual’s confidentiality is not breached”.

    They said “any member of the Defence Forces who feels they were penalised, or were threatened with penalisation, for having made a protected disclosure, should bring the matter to the attention of the ombudsman for the Defence Forces”.



    Both the department and the Defence Forces said “the health and welfare of the men and women of the Defence Forces is a priority” and that they are “committed to compliance with the requirements of the Protected Disclosures Act, 2014, and to the protections contained in that act”.

    Mr Kehoe “has made it clear to the department and the Defence Forces that the protections of the act must be afforded to those who make qualifying disclosures under the act”, according to the department.

    The whistleblower said he previously submitted a complaint to the Ombudsman for the Defence Forces in 2015, is still awaiting an outcome, and believes he has continued to be marginalised since.

    In January 2017, the Irish Examiner revealed how air corps whistleblowers raised concerns about maintenance staff exposure to cancer-causing chemicals. A complaint to the Health and Safety Authority prompted an investigation, after which the watchdog threatened legal action, unless the air corps implemented a series of recommendations. A year-long programme of improvements followed, after which the HSA closed its case.

    Meanwhile, the State is facing 21 legal cases brought by former air corps members, at least seven of which have been taken by men who say their chronic illnesses were caused by their undue exposure to chemicals.

    The Government has ruled out any investigation into whistleblower claims that inspection reports dating back to the 1990s, which raised concerns about conditions in the air corps, were deliberately destroyed.

    An investigation into the whistleblowers’ other claims found that appropriate records to demonstrate the air corps’ compliance with health-and-safety standards are “not readily available”.

    A decade of annual audits of the air corps by the State Claims Agency were not made available to the investigator, nor was a report that raised concerns about the safety management of the cancer-causing trichloroethylene.

    The details of this report were previously revealed by the Irish Examiner. It found that there were no records to show that personal protective equipment, or training on the dangers of the chemical, were provided to staff.

    It also found that work areas were not segregated and doors to adjoining areas were left open, that the workers’ tea room and meeting area were located in an adjoining area, raising the risk of food being contaminated, and that workers’ clothes could have been contaminated, as personnel lockers were located in the immediate area where the chemical was used.

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  13. #35
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    When will the authorities in the DF learn their lesson?
    Hearing protection? Nah
    ROPS? Nah
    Asbestos? Nah

    H&S legislation is quite clear in this regard, the DF is not exempt.
    Will it take another round of compensation claims before they make the necessary changes?
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  14. #36
    Commander in Chief hptmurphy's Avatar
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    In responding to the complaint, the commanding officer said he waited to process the documentation, as the whistleblower was on sick leave at the time of the application. He added he was not in a position to decide whether he could recommend that the whistleblower was fit to continue in the air corps.
    Bullshit.... all he had to do was refer him to an occupational health specialist and would have an instant decision.
    Time for another break I think......

  15. #37
    Moderator DeV's Avatar
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    Medical Board surely?

  16. #38
    Commander in Chief hptmurphy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeV View Post
    Medical Board surely?
    Medical board is almost a courts martial with Doctors, an Occupational Health Consultant is far more qualified and will do whats best for the patient.
    Time for another break I think......

  17. #39
    Moderator DeV's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hptmurphy View Post
    Medical board is almost a courts martial with Doctors, an Occupational Health Consultant is far more qualified and will do whats best for the patient.
    That’s as may be but a MO’s job (rightly or wrongly) also has to consider what is in the DF’s interests

  18. #40
    Commander in Chief hptmurphy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeV View Post
    That’s as may be but a MO’s job (rightly or wrongly) also has to consider what is in the DF’s interests
    As does the Occupational Health Consultant but is more qulaified in the job than a bog standard MO... please tell me the DF has access to Occupational health Consultants... please
    Time for another break I think......

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  20. #41
    Moderator DeV's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hptmurphy View Post
    As does the Occupational Health Consultant but is more qulaified in the job than a bog standard MO... please tell me the DF has access to Occupational health Consultants... please
    If there is.... not enough

  21. #42
    Commander in Chief hptmurphy's Avatar
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    One should remember that most ...99.9% of Medical officers in the DF are little more than General Practioners in uniform are very limited in things like Physchiatry, Psychology, and Occupational health issues and rely on outsourceing or referring persons to these services.
    many years ago I found my self in front of a medical board having being assessed by a practitioner in mental health who made an assessment based on a ten minute interview that concluded I didn't suffer from depression sent his results back to the medical board... two officers .. capt and a commandant who basically sacked me... gave me 10 days to appeal and sent me home under escort......I was subesequently found to have suffered depression for all my life in one form or another and (a) should never have been accepted in the first place.. or (b) could have been retained, medicated and or counselled and been a productive service person. Speaking to an Occupational Helath Consultant and a Consultant Psychiatrist years later he reckoned the way the DF had dealt with me had actually created more issues for me long term.

    So back to the manner in which the AC dealt with the matter in hand, they have a morale and contractual obligation to deal with and help persons who may be the victims of occupational injuries, but choose not to , preferring instead to off load them and let the individuals source help for issues and illness caused by the circumstances of their service.
    Time for another break I think......

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