Taoiseach has not apologised to my family, says father after baby’s 11-hour A&E wait

By Ken Rooney

The father of a six-week-old baby who was forced to wait 11 hours in A&E has criticised Taoiseach Enda Kenny’s apology in the Dáil today.

Daniel Long, from Whitegate in east Cork, took his baby daughter Orlaith to Cork University Hospital on the night of Sunday November 22 after she was vomiting and showing signs of dehydration.

He contacted Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams, who raised the incident with the Taoiseach during Leaders’ Questions in the Dáil.

“I’m sorry that she was on a trolley for those hours and I expect that the management of the hospital will respond to the minister [Leo Varadkar] and to the HSE as to why that actually happened,” the Taoiseach said in response.

Mr Long has rejected the Taoiseach’s comments however, saying: “I’ve received no apology from the Taoiseach.”

He added: “An apology in the Dáil is not an apology to the family.”

Asked if he would welcome a personal apology from Enda Kenny, he said: “I’d have to see if that apology came.

“Is the apology good enough? Will it rectify any matters at the CUH? Probably not.

“I’ve no problem with the doctors and nurses at the hospital – it’s the system that’s the problem.

“There has to be a system in place where babies must be admitted within a couple of hours.”

Deputy Adams said that the Taoiseach’s apology was “not good enough”.

“You are responsible for a health service in chaos,” he told the Taoiseach in the Dáil.

“And there’s no point saying you are sorry – the fact is you are in charge and the fact is this Government, led by Fine Gael and supported by Labour, will not adequately resource our hospitals because you do not believe in a public health model.”

The controversy follows a number of high-profile cases of prolonged waits in A&E departments across the country in recent months.

In one case, 91-year-old man was on a trolley in a corridor in Tallaght Hospital for 29 hours.

During the summer, an elderly cancer patient was on a trolley waiting for a hospital bed in the emergency department of Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Drogheda for five days.

KEYWORDS: Enda Kenny


By Ken Rooney

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