Sinn Féin’s EU candidate for the south constituency of Ireland Liadh Ní Riada has responded to the Taoiseach’s televised address.
Ms Ní Riada said:
“The very clear message from the Taoiseach was that his government is firmly wedded to austerity and cuts. Nowhere will this become more evident than in the health service.
“The adherence to austerity will be seen very soon with a new avalanche of cuts which will decimate health care in this state. The HSE Service Plan for 2014 is set to inflict €666 million worth of cuts on a system which is already at breaking point.
"Was Mr Kenny including a ravaged health service when he spoke of the ‘sacrifices’ which the Irish people have made? Does he really believe that people agreed to the abject decimation of such a vital pillar of our social infrastructure? Of course they didn’t.
“The televised address, used to disguise the fact that the Irish people will paying back the debt of bankers for generations to come, is simply an outworking of some over active imaginations in Fine Gael and Labour.
“The reality is that exiting the bailout will have very little impact in the lives of ordinary people.
“The forthcoming round of cuts to our health service is one of the real products of government policy and Enda Kenny's leadership.”