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Monaghan Councillors to protest at Health Service CEO's office

12 December, 2005

The Mayor of County Monaghan, Sinn Féin's Cllr. Pat Treanor has announced details of an unprecedented protest that is to take place on Tuesday afternoon. The members of Monaghan County Council, of all political persuasion, are to picket the office of Professor Brendan Drumm, Chief Executive Officer of the Health Service Executive. The picket is in response to the refusal of Professor Drumm to meet a delegation from the local authority to discuss the ongoing crisis surrounding the continued downgrading of services at Monaghan General Hospital.

Meara Treanor said: "Tuesday's protest will be a unique venture in that it will involve elected representatives from Sinn Féin, Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael standing together on behalf of the people of our county who demand the full restoration and development of full services to our hospital. Professor Drumm‚s refusal to meet the members of Monaghan County Council to discuss, in particular, Acute Surgical Services, at our General Hospital is nothing short of a disgrace.

"Considering that lives have been lost as a result of Government inaction and the decisions implemented by the Health Service Executive and its predecessor, the North Eastern Health Board, it is imperative that action be taking to reverse those policies that have contributed to the present crisis. Professor Drumm's reason for refusal to meet us - that the Health Act provides for regional health forums - is simply crazy. For one thing it is still uncertain when exactly these forums will be established. Even when (or if) they are established they will be little more than toothless talking shops.

"Monaghan County Council is the primary elected body of the people of County Monaghan. The failure of the CEO of the Health Service Executive to meet with its members to discuss a matter of such serious concern is an insult to all the people of our county and one that we will not accept. It is for this reason that we are travelling to Dublin to picket Professor Drumm's office.

"While the Health Service Executive will be the focus of Tuesday‚s protest I want to place it on the record that we continue to place the ultimate responsibility for the crisis that exists at the hands of the Fianna Fáil/ PD government. It is they that have failed the people of county Monaghan and it has been their policies that have led to serviced after service being removed from our General Hospital; with tragic results in too many instances." ENDS

NOTE: The protest will take place at 2.30pm on Tuesday 13th December at the Office of the CEO, Health Service Executive, Parkgate Business Centre, Parkgate Street, Dublin 8.

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