Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Roscommon climbdown shows FF TDs have abandoned Monaghan Hospital - Ó Caoláin

13 September, 2006


Sinn Féin Dáil leader and spokesperson on Health and Children Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD has described as "almost beyond belief" the Health Service Executive statement that "the strength of public feeling" has led it to reverse its decision to withdraw inpatient surgical services from Roscommon County Hospital. The Cavan-Monaghan Deputy said that the strength of public feeling about the downgrading of Monaghan General Hospital had been made known repeatedly and over many years yet the hospital was now being converted into a "glorified health centre". The difference, he states "is that the Fianna Fáil Oireachtas members here in Cavan/Monaghan have stood idly by as Monaghan General Hospital was pillaged of services".

Speaking in advance of tonight's rally in support of Monaghan General Hospital, Deputy Ó Caoláin said:

"It is almost beyond belief that the Health Service Executive would state that they are now reversing their decision to withdraw inpatient surgical services from Roscommon County Hospital 'given the strength of public feeling'. This comes after a meeting between Roscommon Fianna Fáil TD Michael Finneran, the HSE and Tánaiste and Health Minister Mary Harney. The strength of public feeling about the downgrading of Monaghan General Hospital has been made known repeatedly and at every stage when services were slashed -- including maternity, accident and emergency and inpatient surgical services. Yet today Monaghan General Hospital is being reduced to the status of a glorified health centre.

"The key difference is that the Fianna Fáil Oireachtas members in the constituency of Cavan/Monaghan have stood idly by while Monaghan General Hospital was pillaged of services. The silence of Rory O'Hanlon TD, former Minister for Health, and of Brendan Smith TD, a Minister of State, has been deafening. Events in Roscommon show that had they exercised their influence and taken the same stance as their party colleague Michael Finneran TD the disastrous downgrading of Monaghan General Hospital could have been prevented.

"People of all shades of political opinion in County Monaghan have joined together in support of the Hospital. This includes Fianna Fáil members on local authorities. However, the missing link has been the Fianna Fáil Oireachtas members who have failed abjectly to represent their constituents.

"Tonight's rally will demonstrate once more the real strength of public feeling about the treatment of the people of County Monaghan by the HSE and by this Government. We are determined that they will not be allowed to write the epitaph of Monaghan General Hospital but will be compelled to relent and restore these essential services." ENDS

The Rally in support of Monaghan General Hospital is at 8.30pm tonight, Wednesday 13 September, in the Hillgrove Hotel, Monaghan.

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