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Questions Remain Over Reilly Role On Public Health Issues

Newly appointed Minister for Health Leo Varadkar is said to be 'at loggerheads' with Children's Minister James Reilly, over plans to move certain public health issues to the Department of Children, The Irish Times has reported.

The paper quoted a source as saying "There is no way Leo will allow his new department to be filleted like this,” on Minister Reilly's attempts to wrest control of certain public health issues.

Chief among these is the government's anti-smoking policy, with no clear indication whether this will now fall under Minister Reilly's remit or under Minister Varadkar's.

The paper goes on to say that 'one suggestion would see the two Ministers co-sponsor important pieces of tobacco legislation'.

Yesterday, Minister Reilly told an Oireachtas Committee that, “There are many elements of public health that specifically affect children and we know that for every euro spent on children, that is where you get the best return, whether it’s in health or other aspects in education.”

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