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Harney should resign over Health disasters not hair dos – Ó Caoláin

27 November, 2008 - by Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD

Sinn Féin Dáil leader and spokesperson Health & Children Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD has said that the resignation of Health Minister Mary Harney is long overdue, not because of the use of public money on her hair but because of the disasters over which she has presided in the public health system.

Deputy Ó Caoláin said:

"I am not especially concerned about what figure was spent on Minister Harney's hair. I am concerned that as Minister for Health she has presided over disaster in our public health services. What about the daily figure for patients on hospital trolleys? It reached 283 in November 2006, 290 in November 2007 and this November it has reached 406. That is why Minister Harney should resign.

"We also need a full Dáil debate on the role and remit of FÁS and the conduct of its Board and its management and of Government ministers. This agency plays a vital role in our economy. Its services are more essential now than ever with thousands of people becoming unemployed every month and with a huge need for training and retraining of workers. Nothing should be allowed to disrupt that.

"We have seen how public funding has been abused by the board with expensive junkets to Florida and that Minister Harney availed of one of those junkets. What was going on at top level in FÁS and what was the extent of Ministerial knowledge of this junketeering culture? We need to restore confidence in this public service.

"We also need a full debate on ministerial accountability in the Dáil. How was it that heads did not roll over the massive waste of public money in the PPARS scandal and the electronic voting scandal - was it because they would be ministerial heads?" ENDS

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