Statement on Department's position on public inquiry

Date published: 08 May 2019

There has been some public commentary in recent days about the Department of Health’s position regarding a public inquiry on Muckamore Abbey Hospital.

Muckamore Statement Image

The Department would like to reiterate that it has not ruled out an inquiry.

It remains its position that establishing an inquiry is a decision for a Minister to take.

Furthermore, any public inquiry at this stage would have to defer to the ongoing PSNI investigation into Muckamore.

This position was explained by the Department’s Permanent Secretary Richard Pengelly in his evidence to the House of Commons NI Affairs Committee in January.

Mr Pengelly stated: “A public inquiry would not be able to move at this stage. This is the point I made to the families: I am not saying there should not be a public inquiry. I am saying the time to answer that question will be when the police investigation has concluded. Hopefully there will be a Minister in place to do that.”

Notes to editors: 

1. For media enquiries please contact the Department of Health Press Office team on 028 9052 0575 or email For out of hours please contact the Duty Press Officer on 028 9037 8110 and your call will be returned.

2. Follow us on twitter @healthdpt

Share this page

Back to top