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Doherty to use Seanad to hold Government to account

13 September, 2007


Speaking at the first meeting of the new Seanad today Sinn Féin Senator Pearse Doherty his party will use the Seanad to hold the government to account on issues such as the provision of equal access to healthcare and education, balanced regional development, rural regeneration, and transport infrastructure. Senator Doherty also said he intends to be a strong voice for Donegal.

He said, "Firstly I would like to congratulate the Cathaoirleach on his election and all fellow senators here today. This is a proud day for both myself and Sinn Féin. I look forward to a debate on much needed Seanad reform and wish to use this house to hold the government to account on issues such as the provision of equal access to healthcare and education, balanced regional development, rural regeneration, and transport infrastructure.

"I am also here to provide a voice for Donegal. It is a county with the highest unemployment rate, the highest levels of poverty, and the lowest disposable incomes. Our hospital has had the highest number of patients on hospital trolleys outside of Dublin, and has cancelled the most operations. Donegal is in dire need of a satellite radiotherapy centre to treat cancer patients in addition to the roll-out of Breast-check services.

"The scant infrastructure we have is crumbling; it is the 'derailed county' with no rail links, an underdeveloped electricity network and poor patchy broadband coverage. Local roads are in dire need of repair. The people of Donegal deserve much better and I am here to represent them.

"I wish to be a strong voice for Sinn Féin's national aspirations, of uniting Ireland and achieving a society of equals whereby each and every person on this island enjoy the same rights and opportunities without discrimination." CRÍOCH

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