THE LAW,S DELAY...
(Or an extremely well connected gentleman.?)
December 2005; Cork GP, Dr James Barry (81), won a European Court of Human Rights ruling against the State's prosecution of him for alleged sex assaults on his patients,and claimed that he was "totally vindicated".
He said he was very happy with the EU ruling which will now require the State to pay him €15,000 of taxpayers cash for what was deemed unacceptable delays in proceeding with the prosecution.
A number of Dr Barry's former female patients have said they will press ahead with civil claims against him. The first formal complaint against Dr Barry was lodged by a female patient in May 1995 with the woman claiming he had indecently assaulted her and taken videos of her without her permission. In all a total of 43 different women lodged complaints against him - with the State proceeding with 237 charges.
But the case never reached trial over the following decade.
Legal eagles said that it was unlikely that any prosecution could still be mounted against the GP in light of the ruling.
He will soon be dead....anyway.
THE scandal of the country's Mercedes-driving medical card holders was revealed by a doctor in December 2005.
General Practitioner Dr Peter Wahlrab said he believed there is "gross abuse" of the medical card scheme by people who are "able to fiddle their income and qualify for free medical cards and drugs".
The County Meath doctor is so outraged he brought it to the attention of Health Minister Mary Harney on the national airwaves when she was being interviewed on RTE's Pat Kenny radio show.
The minister, who broadened eligibility for the benefit - which is aimed at low earners - has now promised to investigate the claims.
Kells-based Dr Wahlrab told the Irish Independent he believed at least 20pc of his own list of 800 medical card holders are too well-off to warrant the benefit.
And the pattern is the same in all other GP practices around the country which administer to medical card holders, he said.
"I know it by their lifestyle, their addresses, the cars they drive and the clothes they wear."
He said PAYE workers with a P60 are totally transparent but the self-employed are not subject to the same scrutiny about their incomes.
Local health officials who were formerly part of health boards and who are now incorporated into the Health Service Executive are responsible for issuing the cards.
"I brought it to their attention six months ago and again two months ago, but nothing has happened," Dr Wahlrab said.
While this is going on, he said, some patients on a low wage have been denied a medical card because their income is just €2 above the limit.