Press Release

Minister Martin to waive legal privilege in respect of lindsay tribunal documents

The Minister for Health and Children, Mr Micheál Martin, T.D., met representatives of the Irish Haemophilia Society today (8 February, 2001) to discuss the question of releasing to the Lindsay Tribunal certain documents over which his Department has claimed legal privilege.

“I understand that the Irish Haemophilia Society is concerned about the Department’s state of knowledge at the time of the 1991 HIV settlement, and that it believes that access to privileged documents may shed some light on this. I have decided to waive legal privilege in respect of the privileged documents relating to this matter in my Department’s Affidavit of Discovery, where I have the power to do so. My legal team is currently arranging to produce those documents to the Lindsay Tribunal,” said the Minister.

“I have explained to the Society that there are a small number of documents in the Affidavit of Discovery over which I do not have power to waive privilege”.

The Minister fully understands the concern of the Irish Haemophilia Society and its members to ensure that the Tribunal is in a position to establish the circumstances of the HIV infection of persons with haemophilia. “Judge Lindsay has acknowledged that my Department and I have fully co-operated with the Tribunal”, said the Minister.

A small number of the privileged documents contain material which may have been given by third parties on either a “without prejudice” basis or a confidential basis, or both. There is also material which may have been given to the State in the course and conduct of High Court litigation concerning matters which are now the subject matter of this Tribunal and which concern third parties, and which may have been given on either a “without prejudice” or a confidential basis, or both.