Concerns have been raised about the exposure to toxic chemicals in an Air Corps airbase causing illnesses – some fatal – to servicemen, their partners and their children.
According to an article published today in thejournal.ie, a former Air Corps mechanic has claimed the exposure to toxic chemicals at an Air Corps airbase is causing servicemen, their partners and their children to suffer illnesses and development issues. In some cases, the whistle-blower claims, the illnesses have resulted in death.
The allegations relate to the Casement Airbase in Baldonnel, County Dublin, where it is claimed the Defence Forces failed to protect workers from exposure to known carcinogenic and mutagenic chemicals. The exposure to the chemicals has not only resulted in the alleged untimely death of twenty servicemen, but also life-changing illnesses to their partners and children.
In an address to senior Ministers, TDs, senators and a member of the Defence Forces, the whistle-blower said he knew of many serving and retired personnel who had developed fertility issues. He claimed that one retired serviceman´s wife had eight successive miscarriages and that the wives of three personnel in the engineering wing suffered miscarriages within six months of each other.
The unprotected exposure to carcinogenic and mutagenic chemicals, the former mechanic claimed, had resulted in the death of five servicemen´s children – two from cancer-related illnesses, and two from serious birth defects. He also gave details of further children who have been born with development issues suspected to be linked to their parent´s exposure to toxic chemicals in an Air Corps airbase.
Claims that the Defence Forces failed to protect Irish servicemen against exposure to toxic chemicals go back more than a decade, but these allegations have raised fresh concerns. Speaking to thejournal.ie, Sinn Féín TD Aengus Ó Snodaigh accused junior Justice Minister Paul Kehoe of indifference to the “severe mental and physical side effects on serving and retired soldiers”.
TD Ó Snodaigh expressed concerns that the issue of exposure to toxic chemicals in an Air Corps airbase had not been addressed despite a Health and Safety Authority inspection of the Casement Airbase identifying several health and safety issues in need of immediate attention. Currently the State Claims Agency is defending six personal injury claims made due illnesses attributed to exposure to toxic chemicals at an Air Corps airbase.