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Blood Transfusions: Ireland

Volume 495: debated on Monday 6 July 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 23 June 2009, Official Report, column 656, what the evidential basis was for the Minister of State's statement that the Irish Blood Transfusion Service was at fault. (283738)

There were two judicial inquiries in Ireland relating to contaminated blood and blood products which found that “wrongful acts were committed” by the Irish Blood Transfusion Service.

Between 1977 and 1994, a large number of women in the Irish Republic were infected with Hepatitis C from contaminated Anti-D immunoglobulin produced by the Irish national blood transfusion service. An expert group set up by the Irish Government found the blood service to have been at fault, and the same conclusion was reached by a later judicial inquiry chaired by the Honourable Mr. Justice T. A. Finlay. The “Report of the Finlay Tribunal of Inquiry into the Blood Transfusion Service Board” was published on 6 March 1997.

On 2 June 1999, both Houses of the Oireachtas passed a Resolution that a further Tribunal of Inquiry should be established to examine and report on certain matters of urgent public importance relating to the infection with Hepatitis C and Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) of persons with haemophilia. The “Report of the Tribunal of Inquiry into the Infection with HIV and Hepatitis C of Persons with Haemophilia and Related Matters” was published on 5 September 2002 by Her Honour Judge Alison Lindsay.