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Harris apology is nothing more than political cover for Fianna Fáil - Louise O’Reilly TD

10 February, 2019 - by Louise O'Reilly TD

Responding to news this afternoon that Health Minister Simon Harris is to apologise to the Dáil this week over a lack of information in relation to the cost overrun at the National Children’s Hospital, Sinn Féin spokesperson Louise O’Reilly said this was simply political cover for Fianna Fáil who are intent on keeping this incompetent Minister in place.

Teachta O’Reilly said Harris has already issued numerous apologies as Health Minister.

Teachta Reilly was speaking this afternoon after Fianna Fáil spokesperson Stephen Donnelly confirmed that his party will not seek the Minister’s resignation.

She said;

“We are talking about the public’s money here to the tune of €450million.

“We are talking about a Minister who was aware of a massive hole in our public finances yet decided to keep it to himself during the course of the budget negotiations.

“And, let’s be clear here, Sinn Féin is not seeking an election. We are simply seeking the removal of this incompetent Minister who is charged with managing a budget of over €17 billion.

“The announcement that Minister Harris is to apologise to the Dáil this week is clearly nothing more than political cover for Fianna Fáil in return for their protection of Minister Harris. It’s a cosy little deal between the two government parties.  

“Are apologies now to replace political accountability?  How many more apologies is the Minister going to issue?

“He has already apologised over the cervical smear scandal and he apologised for the scoliosis scandal and now he is set to apologise for the hospital overrun scandal.

“Will he apologise to the Nurses who have had to go on strike in an effort to secure fair pay and safe staffing levels?  Will he apologise to the GPs and the Paramedics who are also involved in industrial action? Will he apologise to the record number of patients stuck on hospital trolleys last year?  And will he apologise to the hundreds of thousands of people on the hospital waiting list?  

“Is the Minister simply to be given free rein as long as he apologises each and every time a fresh scandal emerges?

“We have a serious problem in Ireland with accountability in public life and it is being perpetuated by Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil who are using Brexit as an excuse to stand over incompetence at the heart of government.  That is not good enough.  The Irish people deserve and demand better.”


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