FF calls for honesty from Taoiseach on health centres controversy07/10/2012 - 12:56:18
Fianna Fáil has called on the Taoiseach to declare exactly what he knew about the decision by the Health Minister James Reilly to locate two primary care centres in his constituency.
A report in today's Sunday Independent suggests the Health Minister told Enda Kenny and Eamon Gilmore about the controversial plan as far back as last July.
The Sunday Business Post reported that Dr Reilly knew that the primary care centre site in Balbriggan owned by one of his political supporters had been chosen by the HSE, despite his insistence that he was not involved in the selection of individual sites.
The row led to the resignation of Junior Health Minister Roisin Shortalll, who has accused Dr Reilly of "stroke politics".
Fianna Fáil's health spokesperson Billy Kelleher says it's time for Enda Kenny to tell the public what he knew and when.
"Quite clearly what they are doing is that they are supporting stroke politics in a time when people need health services and we should be talking about the real issues out there that are affecting the public," he said.
"So quite clearly this is a distraction, it's a very unwelcome distraction, and the Taoiseach should be honest with us at this stage and say clearly what he knew about this particularly decision, did he support it at the time, and does he still support it?"
Fianna Fáil Party Whip Seán Ó Fearghaíl added that a letter revealed in the Sunday Business Post from Minister Reilly to Balbriggan Town Council is further proof that the Minister has misled the Dáil and has more questions to answer.
“What more needs to happen before the Taoiseach starts showing some leadership on this?” asked Deputy Ó Fearghaíl.
“Yet again we have evidence that Minister Reilly has failed to tell the truth about his role in selecting primary care sites in his own constituency.
“The Minister has been given ample opportunity to clearly explain the criteria used for selecting certain sites over others, and to come clean about his involvement in this process.
“The fact that he has failed to give any coherent and plausible explanation is proof that there simply isn’t one.
“I find it incredible that the Fine Gael and Labour coalition continue to support Minister Reilly’s position.
“What more will it take for the Taoiseach and Tánaiste to start taking control of this situation? It is time we heard the whole truth from Minister Reilly.”
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