Fianna Fáil talking out of both sides of their mouths on mental health - Pat Buckley TD
Sinn Féin Deputy Spokesperson on Mental Health Pat Buckley TD has condemned Michael Martin and the Fianna Fáil party for its failure to hold the government to account on mental health while publicly calling for needed reforms. He described their behaviour as disingenuous and a cynical exploitation of a very important issue.
Deputy Buckley said;
"Fianna Fáil are talking the talk but have on every opportunity refused to walk the walk on mental health. They presided over decades of underfunding and neglect of mental health services and now they are supporting a government which has failed time and again to deliver on mental health. Yet yesterday Michael Martin stood in the Dáil and claimed support for Conor Cusack and 24/7 wellness centres.
“Last month Sinn Féin brought a motion before the Dáil demanding implementation of 24/7 crisis intervention services within 12 months. A few weeks later we sought to amend a Fianna Fáil motion to call for a minimum of 37.5 million additional funding for mental health in 2017. Fianna Fáil sided with the government and allowed both to be defeated.
“Fianna Fáil have been very quick to use the issue of mental health when it suits them. Under Martin's leadership they have shown a complete lack of courage to stand up to the government and demand decent mental health services. They have actively opposed or stayed silent when positive initiatives were on the table.
“This behaviour is disrespectful of the people who need these reforms, it is utterly disingenuous and misleading. This issue is far more important than their cosy arrangement with Fine Gael. Stunts won't cut it."