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Decision time for every Fianna Fáil representative – Conway-Walsh

13 February, 2019 - by Rose Conway-Walsh

Sinn Féin Mayo senator Rose Conway-Walsh has said that Sinn Féin’s motion of no confidence in Health Minister Simon Harris is an opportunity for Fianna Fáil to say where the buck stops.

Speaking in the Seanad after Minister Harris addressed the Dáil, Senator Conway-Walsh said:

“Although Sinn Féin are tabling this motion of no confidence, the actions of other parties will give the public the clearest indication yet of their own attitude to accountability and the spending of taxpayers’ money. It is also an opportunity to state clearly what we mean by accountability. Generalised apologies are no substitute for real accountability.

“Minister Harris has already apologised for multiple failures in healthcare delivery from the cervical check scandal, waiting times on trolleys and for procedures and scoliosis. There simply has to be a point where a routine, highly politicised apology is not good enough.

“I am directly asking Fianna Fáil representatives if they have confidence in a Minister who withheld key information while discussing budget proposals. Since the formation of this government, Fianna Fáil have told us that they exert influence during the Budget process.

“It now appears that the wool has been pulled over their eyes in relation to €450 million of an overspend on this project. No Minister should be unaccountable or untouchable, regardless of external factors at the time. We do not yet know the final cost of this project. Nor do we know which or how many capital projects will be delayed or scrapped as a result of the overspend.

“Fianna Fáil must seize this opportunity to call a halt to what has happened so far and send a meaningful message that things must change. How many apologies equal accountability?” 

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