Northern Ireland

Contaminated blood scandal inquiry 'should be independent'

Brian Carberry
Image caption Brian Carberry is one of about 6,000 people across the UK to have been infected with hepatitis C

A County Down man who contracted hepatitis C because he was given contaminated blood has said a government inquiry into the issue should be independent.

Brian Carberry, 49, from Downpatrick, received haemophilia treatment as a child in the 1970s.

In the 1970s and 1980s some blood products used to treat the disease were imported from the US.

They included donations from prisoners, who were at risk of hepatitis C or HIV.

At least 2,400 people died as a result of the contamination.

The government announcement that a UK-wide inquiry will be held into the scandal on Tuesday.

Image copyright SPL
Image caption The scandal has been called the worst treatment disaster in the history of the NHS.

Families of those who died will be consulted about what form the inquiry should take.

It could be a public Hillsborough-style inquiry or a judge-led statutory inquiry, the prime minister has said.

Mr Carberry, who is one of about 6,000 people across the UK to have been infected with hepatitis C, said he was "relieved" that a public inquiry will be launched.

"I want to see the truth, accountability. This is with the government and Department of Health - they need to answer for it," he added.

"The victims need to be involved right in the centre of it.

"They're the ones with the evidence and they are the ones who need the answers.

"The bureaucrats can't do it, and the Department of Health can't look at itself so it needs to be an independent inquiry."

The scandal has been called the worst treatment disaster in the history of the NHS.

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