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Sinn Féin support call for Public Meeting on crisis at Wexford General Hospital

2 February, 2005

Wexford Sinn Féin County Councillor, John Dwyer, has said that Sinn Féin will fully support the Public meeting being held on February 14th in Wexford to discuss the ongoing crisis at Wexford General Hospital.

Speaking in Wexford on Tuesday Cllr. Dwyer said:

"Sinn Féin have made the upgrading of Wexford General Hospital a cornerstone of our campaigning work over the past 12 months, distributing 20,000 healthcare newsletters and gathering 12,000 signatures from the public to a petition to upgrade the hospital which were delivered directly to then Minister, Micheál Martin. The Sinn Féin President, Gerry Adams, also visited Wexford General Hospital last June to discuss the ongoing crisis at first hand with Hospital Manager, Theresa Hanrahan, and Director of Nursing, Bernard Finnegan.

"While many others rejected and minimised our concerns at the time of the publication of the Hanly Report, Sinn Féin warned that the continued failure to upgrade Wexford General Hospital meant that the Hospital was effectively already being downgraded, despite the denials of some local politicians.

"While our local Fianna Fáil politicians cannot take shelter from this issue and must stand up and take political responsibility for the actions of their Government, we cannot seriously expect them to defend the indefensible. A broad based campaign is now required and the message must go out to Mary Harney that the people of Wexford have had enough, that they demand the Hanly report be binned immediately and that a strategic development plan for the upgrading of Wexford General Hospital is put in place. This plan must not be kept secret. A secret plan is no plan at all. It must be published and must be an open strategic development plan with guaranteed timescales in place for the delivery of extra beds and upgraded services.

"No more false announcements can be accepted by the people of Wexford. The message must go out loud and clear from this meeting, that this government will pay the highest political price possible for the ongoing and criminal neglect of the health services in our county." ENDS

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