North West cancer care a major political priority - Martin McGuinness
Sinn Fein's Martin McGuinness, MP, MLA, (Deputy First Minister designate in the Six Counties) has declared that dedicated cancer care provision for the North West will be a "major political priority" in the new Executive.
Mr McGuinness was speaking after his first meeting with the newly-formed Co-operating for Cancer Care (NW) group in Letterkenny over the weekend. The meeting was requested by Mr McGuinness ahead of the re-establishment of the Executive on May 8. Donegal Sinn Féin representatives, Cllr Pádraig Mac Lochlainn and Cllr Pearse Doherty, accompanied Mr McGuinness to the meeting.
Mr McGuinness said:
"This was an important and constructive meeting. Dedicated cancer care provision for the North West - specifically a satellite radiotherapy unit - has consistently been a demand made by Sinn Féin. Within the new Executive, I am determined that the issue of dedicated cancer care for the North West will be a major political priority.
"The people of Donegal, and the wider North West, have been repeatedly let down by empty promises and false dawns on this issue. That never was, and is not now, acceptable to Sinn Féin.
"Cancer care provision for the North West is an opportunity for the new Executive to demonstrate the benefits of real and meaningful all-Ireland development.
"Together with political colleagues throughout the North West, I believe that we can rapidly deliver that goal."
Commenting after the meeting, Cllr Pádraig Mac Lochlainn said:
"Donegal Sinn Féin believes that an all-Ireland approach to North West cancer care is critical. We are grateful that Martin McGuinness has pledged to place this issue high up the political agenda in the new Executive.
"Everyone in Donegal should be united on the core demand for dedicated cancer care provision for the North West region.
"With that unity of purpose, the people of Donegal should now be aiming to translate years of campaigning into a permanent solution for the region.
"The practical and political logic of all-Ireland co-operation on this issue - as on every other issue - is undeniable.
"Alongside our party colleagues in the Six County Assembly, Donegal Sinn Féin once again pledges to keep regional cancer care provision for the North West - specifically a satellite radiotherapy unit - as our paramount political priority in the time ahead."