Witch-Hunt Against Hepatitis-C Support Group, Positive Action

Hypocrisy as media and politicians attack victims of Hep-C scandal

The self-righteousness drips off the pages of the Independent and slimes out of the radio as RTE reporters detail all the examples of supposed financial abuse by the directors of Positive Action, the group set up to support the victims of the Anti-D scandal.

The HSE audit found that €100,000 was spent on  complementary therapies that included reflexology, pilates, thought field therapy, aromatherapy, angel healing, angel card readings, crystal healing  and ear candling.

And so what?  These women were infected due to State negligence by an appalling disease they can never be cured of.  Aren’t they entitled to a little pampering after what the State subjected them to?  And so what if thought field therapy, angel healing, crystal healing and ear candling are bullshit, which they are?  If the sessions made these women feel a little better for a little while, why would anyone begrudge them?

So what if a lobster meal for four cost 234 dollars in the US?  That’s €187, or about €47 per person.  Not bad value, and worth every penny when you’ve been given a death sentence by the negligent public health service.

So what if supermarket bills over four years cost €20,000?  That’s about €100 per week, which isn’t bad for feeding unpaid volunteers.

Only €463 on alcohol though.  What’s wrong with these women?

Oh right.  Of course.  Their livers are severely damaged by what the State did to them.

So what if the women were funded for massage and beauty therapies?

So what if they had facials, manicures and pedicures?

So what if one member of the group claimed €550 to go on a Dancing the Spiral course, whatever that is?

In any decent society, the government ministers, including Michael Noonan, who hounded Brigid McCole on her deathbed, would be down on their knees scrubbing floors for these women.

So what if the girls (and the directors were all women) couldn’t believe their luck and so what if they took advantage of the carte blanche they thought they’d been given?  Wouldn’t you, if your health had been compromised by the culpable negligence of an arm of this state?  I think I’d treat it as an invitation to ride the gravy train right over that cliff, a- whoopin and a-hollerin all the way.

The latest we hear is that a criminal investigation has been launched as if these victims of official criminality hadn’t suffered enough.

In a country that has prosecuted almost no bankers, in a country that has called no politicians to account for the financial calamity that overtook us, in a country that failed to scrutinise the financial regulator and his underlings for bringing us to our knees, we’re going to launch an investigation into a group of women who had no training in corporate governance, because they overspent the miserable €2 million budget they’d been allocated for the four years under examination.

If the government had refused to pay Roman Abramovich the half billion windfall he snapped up when he bought Irish bonds at ten cents on the euro, they’d be able to fund 250 support groups like  Positive Action.

I don’t care if the members of Positive Action went a little wild at times.  Aren’t they entitled after all they’ve been through?

7 replies on “Witch-Hunt Against Hepatitis-C Support Group, Positive Action”

Aren’t they entitled after all they’ve been through? No there not, it was tax payers money spent on bullshit.
Two wrongs do not make a right.

I don’t know if anyone close to you has ever suffered a terminal illness, but it”s surprising what a huge difference even a small thing can make.

You and I both know that angel healing is bullshit, and I have no doubt the ladies are just as intelligent as you are, so they probably know it too, but that’s not the point. When someone is suffering an incurable illness, all sorts of apparently frivolous things, from head massage to manicures, can help immensely. If you don’t believe me, why not visit your local hospice and see for yourself?

One arm of the State gave these women this terrible disease while another arm of the State fought their claims, on occasion all the way to the grave.

In those circumstances, maybe we could cut them a little slack. What do you think?

Regarding the article, agree 100%.
Regardless of whatever the group spent the money on, be it angel cards or stuffing wads of cash down the Chipendales underpants, unless they had some of strict guidelines, I fail to see what exactly they did wrong here?
What was the money supposed to be spent on exactly?

Regarding Michael Noonan’s treatment of Brigid McCole..I can’t understand the contempt. He strikes me as a fairly pompous character though.
A teacher, in, way over his head, lecturing the rest of us on his lose grip of economics.

Bock, obviously you are a man of great compassion and integrity and I believe that you and I have extremely similar ideas, however I would like to just point out a few areas that may need a little more dialogue. Yes I agree that these women AND men who contracted this horrendous disease need to be looked after, without a doubt, but this money was set aside for everyone who had contracted Hep C not for a select few. Yes I agree that the entire handling of this problem when it was discovered was poor and some government officials should hang their heads in shame. But again this money was set aside for all people who contracted it. I don’t think that anybody would or could with any human traits deny anybody who has a terminal illness a manicure, angel healing or whatever they choose if it makes them feel better, and if they did they should try and walk in their shoes for while. Bock you asked also if I had any relationships close to me that has experienced this kind of situation, well yes I have – several – and extremely close so I feel that I am speaking from very personal experience. This organisation was set up as a charity and the ethos of a charity is to help others, which these folks did, but again I think to put it bluntly they were taking the piss, they were helping themselves and their close family members to the trough of public monies as well. Perhaps they also should have had support in how to spend this large amount of taxpayers money to the best advantage of EVERYONE who had contracted this awful and debilitating disease. Unfortunately the people at the top with the credit cards have spent it unwisely and have left some others who are in the exact same situation without any manicures or angel healing. And to finish this small comment I have visited hospitals,hospices, nursing homes regularly and have witnessed the kindnesses of people bringing in small items that make people smile at the end of there life, small things like a drop of whiskey at 2AM, fresh cupcakes to have with a cuppa, pizza deliveries at all hours – these people do exist , it makes me feel sad that these people who were at the top have acted foolishly, they themselves are facing a horrible end to their life and I think in the wisdom of hindsight that they themselves would not like to leave a legacy of foolhardiness behind them.

I have a long record of foolishness myself.

It would be dreadful to think that people who were at worst foolhardy should now be facing a police investigation, as if their terminal illness, inflicted on them by an arm of the Irish State, isn’t bad enough.

What are we going to do – throw them in jail?

There was a political reason why no official oversight was applied to this situation. The Brigid McCole debacle proved politically toxic to Michael Noonan and the word came down from on high: let them do whatever they like as long as it doesn’t look bad for the Minister.

That’s the reality of it, so let’s fix the problem, move on and stop hounding these women who are not criminals.

Fully agree with sentiment in this post.

I think the key “misinformation” that was given was that the first reports seemed to suggest that the volunteers were “feathering their own nests” and that they had spent all the money on themselves.

As it has since emerged that much of the money was spent on providing some relief to victims. This puts a very different angle on the story.

The legality / morality of the behaviour of Positive Action members is nothing in comparison with that of the drug companies who have recently released a treatment for Hepatitis C with a high success rate. It is priced so highly that no one can afford it, the HSE nor the NHS will fund it unless you are so ill as to be non-functional as a human being. A modestly priced lobster dinner does not seem to be over indulgent either for people who generally do not drink for fear of further damaging their livers.

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