Sunday, February 3, 2013

Sinn Féin deny 'double standards' on Wexford Hospital

Cllr Anthony Kelly has refuted comments made by Labour Cllr George Lawlor accusing Sinn Féin of not standing behind Wexford General Hospital during an interview on the Morning Mix this week.  Cllr Kelly said that he and his party had always stood behind the hospital and would continue to campaign for a better health service for this county.

Cllr Kelly said;

"Cllr George Lawlor's attempts to vilify the position that Sinn Féin has taken on the Wexford Hospital fiasco is an attempt to deflect attention away from what Mayor Jim Allen recently admitted was an act of 'stroke politics.'  The people of this county know only too well that Sinn Féin has consistently campaigned for the protection of health services within this county and only recently highlighted the closure of operating theatre 2 at Wexford General.  If it had been left up to local Labour party reps, no one would ever have known that the government was planning to close that theatre."

"Wexford General Hospital deserved this funding on its own merit and was in dire need of it.  Wexford hospital, and every hospital, should not need a Minister to ensure that necessary upgrades are achieved.  Sinn Féin immediately welcomed the announcement that a new A&E would be built in Wexford.  We campaigned since 2004 for it and nothing has changed in our desire to see a better health service for this county."

"It must be pointed out however that it is not the gift of any Minister to grant political favours to fellow Ministers.  Let's not forget that County Wexford became known as the forgotten county during the reign of the last Fianna Fail government because of such political favours and similar acts of 'stroke politics.'  Let's not forget that a previous government minister of that coalition was only too willing to use his influence to reroute resources away from Wexford and into Waterford, resulting in devastation for our county."

"Cllr Lawlor and the local branch of Labour rightly condemned these actions at the time.  Is it now a case that such actions are acceptable so long as we are the ones benefitting from them?"

"Cllr Lawlor said that my party implied funding necessary upgrades at Wexford General Hospital was 'damning to the extreme'.  That is completely untrue.  I would challenge anyone to deny my personal commitment and integrity towards my local hospital.  I will never hang my head in shame over my performance for Wexford General, as Cllr Lawlor stated I should.  Sinn Féin activists protested in rain, hail and freezing temperatures recently to ensure the reopening of operating theatre 2.  We will hold our heads up high."

"Sinn Féin will continue to stand behind Wexford General Hospital and we will continue to highlight, and campaign against, the decimation of health services across this county, caused by budget constraints and austerity measures that are implemented by Fine Gael and the Labour Party."

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