‘I was used as a human guinea pig’

by Sylvia Pownall
0 comment

A CLONDALKIN councillor who recently discovered he was an unwitting participant on an infamous vaccine programme as a child is calling for a full State investigation.
Cllr Francis Timmons (Ind) said he was “left reeling” when his suspicions that he received injections as part of a trial in the 1970s at Madonna House were confirmed.
A letter from Glaxo-SmithKline, seen by The Gazette, revealed he was given a diphtheria tetanus pertussis (DTP) vaccine and a “Plain New” vaccine as part of the Trivax study when he was at the mother and baby home in Blackrock in 1973.
He told The Gazette: “I’ve had contact from several people asking about trials and people that lived in the institutions.
“I think everyone should seek out their information and I have written to the Minister for Children and Health. I await replies.
“There needs to be a full State investigation into the vaccine trials.”
The medicine trials, designed to test for a range of diseases including diphtheria to whooping cough, came to light in the 1990s.
Cllr Timmons was one of 19 to receive the DTP and one of 30 on the Trivax study at the Sisters of Charity run institution.
He said: “I’d had no idea that I could have been given these injections. I was doing some research and came across this so I decided to look into it further. I’ve only just found out recently and it’s a lot to take in.
“They allowed us to be used as human guinea pigs. My memories of Madonna House are of a dark and gloomy place.
“I don’t remember fun, I remember feeling sad and crying a lot.”
Francis, who was reunited with his mother Mary shortly before her death, was initially told by the Sisters of Charity that his files had been destroyed in a fire, but he later tracked down his details from the HSE.
Questions about vaccine trials carried out on children in the 60s and 70s remain unanswered two decades after the issue was first raised and a State inquiry is still ongoing.
No record of written consent has been acknowledged. The religious orders who ran the homes involved in the trials have also denied authorising any clinical trials.
Cllr Timmons said: “I demand nothing less than a full investigation. We deserve truth and justice.”

Related Articles