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Fostered inequality in Irish society reason alone for Taoiseach's resignation - Ó Caoláin

14 January, 2008

Responding to renewed calls by Labour and Fine Gael for the Taoiseach's resignation Sinn Féin Dáil leader Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD has today said Sinn Féin continues to make the same demand but notes Bertie Ahern's resignation should be based on the inequality in Ireland he has fostered over the last ten years.

Deputy Ó Caoláin said:

"Over the weekend Labour and Fine Gael have renewed their calls for the immediate resignation of the Taoiseach due to his continued financial woes with the planning tribunal and doubts surrounding his tax compliance. Whilst these matters are indeed serious, they are miniscule in comparison to the deep inequality in Irish society Bertie Ahern has fostered since 1997.

"All of our public services are in disarray due to years of minimal investment in the necessary critical infrastructure by successive Fianna Fáil led governments. Unlike other European countries Bertie Ahern has refused to link Irelands GDP with public spending on key services such as health, education and public transport. Thus he has squandered the economic benefits of the last ten years, treating the public coffers as a cash cow to the detriment of the country's infrastructure, regional development, and medium to long term economic viability.

"Our country's health service is run as an apartheid system, despite Fianna Fáil's 2002 election manifesto commitment to bring about an end to the two tiered health system they have maintained and fostered. Despite the country's economic success story of the last ten years we live in a country where private patients gain faster access to critical cancer services than public patients. For this reason alone Bertie Ahern should resign his position as Taoiseach. " CRÍOCH

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