FF TDs must act on their words
Sinn Féin Dáil leader and spokesperson on Health & Children Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin has written to the Minister for Health and Children Mary Harney urging her to agree to the unanimous request from Monaghan County Council for an urgent meeting with her to address the downgrading of Monaghan General Hospital. The Cavan-Monaghan TD also urged Fianna Fáil TDs in the constituency to act on their "new-found opposition to the withdrawal of all acute inpatient services from Monaghan".
The Cavan-Monaghan TD said: "The massive public rally in support of Monaghan General Hospital last night sent a powerful message to the Fianna Fail/PD Government and to the Health Service Executive. People are not prepared to see their hospital taken from them. As a result we have had statements from the Fianna Fáil TDs for Cavan/Monaghan Brendan Smith and Rory O'Hanlon saying that they oppose the withdrawal of all acute inpatient services from Monaghan General Hospital.
"Neither Deputy O'Hanlon nor Deputy Smith attended last night's rally. Deputy O'Hanlon cited prior commitments while Deputy Smith was simply absent without apology or explanation. Both TDs must now act on their new-found opposition to the further downgrading of Monaghan General Hospital.
"If Deputy O'Hanlon's duties as Ceann Comhairle are too onerous to allow him to represent his constituents then he should step down from that post and devote his time to saving Monaghan General Hospital.
"Cavan-based Deputy Brendan Smith needs to be reminded that he was elected to represent both Counties Cavan and Monaghan. The downgrading of Monaghan General Hospital has added to the burden on patients and staff in Cavan General Hospital and this will worsen if the HSE's plans are allowed to go ahead. With Deputy O'Hanlon, Deputy Smith should refuse the Government whip on the resumption of the Dáil if the Minister for Health and Children does not stop the destruction of the hospital.
"Minister Harney should immediately comply with the unanimous request of Monaghan County Council for an urgent meeting with her on this most important of issues."