- 25 Apr 13
The former Minster for Finance recalls his involvement in the 1963 High Court challenge on the constitutionality of fluoridation of water...
Richie Ryan, the former Fine Gael Minister for Finance and one of the most controversial politicians of his time, recently joined Hot Press’ Adrienne Murphy for a revealing interview that touches on an array of topics.
On the subject of water fluoridation, Ryan recalls his involvement in the landmark 1963 High Court case, which saw Gladys Ryan challenge the constitutionality of fluoridation of Irish water.
"I recall being with a group of lawyers 10 or 15 years after the case", he says. "One of the Supreme Court judges who was involved (who dismissed the appeal) said to me: "If, at the time we considered it, I was aware of all that I've heard since about fluoride, I don't think I would have joined the dismissal of the case".
He continues; "There are major scientific and medical concerns. Yet on the officials' side, there's an attitude of, 'Oh well, nobody has died as a result of fluoride. The fact is though, we don't know... If I were Minister for Health, I'd pursue the matter."
When asked about his thoughts on the current Taoiseach Enda Kenny, Ryan is fairly positive.
“I’d rate him highly. He’s very like his father, Henry, who was my Junior Minister when I was in Finance... Henry astonished the press gallery as much as anybody else, because when he was an ordinary TD he was jovial, laidback. Enda can be laidback too, which is a good thing – it’s better than losing the head... He’s a very likable person. I don’t know how he performs in the cabinet, but his nature would be to give everybody their say, and he’s highly intelligent.”
Read the full interview in the new issue of Hot Press to read Ryan’s thoughts on the economy, the European Union, Northern Ireland, and the Church.