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Shame on a Government that betrays children – Ó Caoláin

13 May, 2009 - by Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD


Sinn Féin Dáil leader and spokesperson Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD has said that the members of the Fianna Fáil/Green Government should hang their heads in shame as their health cuts result in the closure of wards and reduction of services in Our Lady’s Hospital for Sick Children. He said this was but the latest example of the betrayal of children.

Deputy Ó Caoláin said:

"This Fianna Fáil/Green Government is betraying children and targeting them for savage cuts. The latest example is the closure of wards and reduction of services in Our Lady’s Hospital for Sick Children in Crumlin. This is a national centre of excellence for the care of children yet the Government has for years failed to provide it with the support it needs and has now failed to shield it from the effects of the savage health cuts.

"Long forgotten now are the false promises from Health Minister Mary Harney and HSE Chief Brendan Drumm that cuts would not effect front-line patient care.

"Minister Harney has refused to go ahead with the promised cervical cancer vaccine for girls, thus increasing the danger of cancer for thousands of children.

"Children with special needs have also been betrayed by this Government with cuts to their services condemning them to lives of disadvantage.

"And the Government is refusing to implement the key recommendation of the Monageer Report for an out-of-hours social work service. This need is not confined to helping prevent such tragedies as that at Monageer. The overall shortage of social workers to address the needs of children in danger has long been identified but has been allowed to persist by this Government.

"Social workers and others working with children and for children’s rights have repeatedly pointed out that the under-resourcing of child protection services, social work, community care, family support and psychological and therapeutic services is having terrible consequences.

"The members of this Government should hang their heads in shame for betraying children." ENDS

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