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Citizens have right to public services – Adams

5 July, 2011 - by Gerry Adams TD


Speaking during Leaders Questions today Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD challenged Taoiseach Enda Kenny on the adverse impact of government policies on public services.

Mr. Adams argued that citizens should have the right to public services, including health and education, but “because of the policies of this and the last Government, they do not have that right. It is not present as a fundamental entitlement and core value of the State” The Louth TD cited the failure of the state to fly Maedhbh McGivern to London for an urgent liver transplant as evidence of this.

The Sinn Féin leader said:

“The real measure of successful reform within the public sector is the experience of citizens seeking to access public services.

“Citizens should have the right to access public services. They should have the right to access to education and health services. However, because of the policies of this and the last Government, they do not have that right. It is not present as a fundamental entitlement and core value of the State.

“Given the austerity programme, of which he is now part, and the promise or threat of further cuts of €4 billion, does the Taoiseach accept that the situation can only get worse? Does he accept that it would be far better for the Government to face up to the major burden placed on citizens, rather than continuing with the shredding of public services?”

Speaking after the Leaders Questions Mr. Adams said:

“If we are to judge public services by the fact that a child could not be flown to Britain to get a liver transplant, or that people who live in certain parts of this State will not have access to accident and emergency departments, or that from next Monday, 11 July, the Government will have closed down or withdrawn many of those accident and emergency services because of its failure to manage the provision of junior doctors, then it is clear that government policy is failing our public services.”

“A society must be built around accessible public services. From the cradle to the grave, wraparound health services, and accessible public services must be a fundamental core value of this society.”

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