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Fianna Fail in Roscommon Ultimatum

Read more about: Fianna Fail, Fine Gael, Health, Roscommon-South Leitrim     Print This Post

Fianna Fail TD for Roscommon Michael Finneran has threatened not to stand for FF next year if the HSE continues with its plans to downgrade The County Hospital in Roscommon.RTE: “He accused the HSE of going ahead with a plan to downgrade the hospital without approval of the Tánaiste and Minister for Health, Mary Harney.

Roscommon County Hospital was one of the units identified for downgrading in the Hanly report.

And despite a commitment on its future last year from Mr Ahern, the HSE is proposing to withdraw inpatient surgery facilities and formalise a working link with Portiuncula Hospital in Ballinasloe.”

Perhaps his ultimatum has something to do with the Fine Gael position. The Roscommon Herald this week reported Denis Naughton TD as stating quite clearly that Fine Gael and Labour are both opposed to the downgrading of Roscommon Hospital.

“Both Labour & Fine Gael believe that the cornerstone to improving our health service is the provision of additional public hospital beds. This will be a key principle in our health proposals. But the HSE plan for Roscommon Hospital does the exact opposite, by reducing the number of acute hospital beds within the health system,” he claimed.

This was after a meeting with Liam Twomey so you can bet your bottom dollar its party policy, interesting though that its put out as a joint position of the prospective government parties.
Finneran got elected to Longford Roscommon in the fourth and last seat with 73 votes to spare over an FF running mate. With Roscommon being redrawn to include South Leitrim one cannot be too careful, especially on an issue so unpopular as hospital closures.

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7 Responses to “Fianna Fail in Roscommon Ultimatum”

  1. # Comment by P O'Neill Aug 24th, 2006 15:08

    One interesting thing is that the quango approach has been much less successful with health than with roads. Whatever one’s view of the National Roads Authority, it did take some of the parish pump aspect out of road building, and yet seems not to have generated any significant protest candidates or party defections even with some very controversial motorway decisions. But locals just have not bought the line that the HSE is separate from the political side of the government.

  2. # Comment by simon Aug 24th, 2006 16:08

    Very interesting point P that I never thought of before. Is it the media driven focus of the HSE. I mean can you name the head of the National roads authority ? Can you name the HSE.? I will have to think about that point

  3. # Comment by Cian Aug 24th, 2006 16:08

    Simon, that might have something to do with the government often being seen to hide behind the HSE (effectively now the conglomeration of the health boards) and thus both parties being dragged into the focus as supposed actors/decision makers (a cynic might suggest both do neither).

  4. # Comment by Seamus Ryan Aug 24th, 2006 16:08

    Cian makes an important point about the government hiding behind the HSE. Whatever happened with the old maxim “the buck stops here”. Government ministers no longer accept responsibility for any failings in the delivery of services in this country. But yet when the news is positive they are the first to jump to the podium to announce the latest grant etc. What we need is a government that is willing to take responsibility for its actions and its failings. If there is a problem with the delivery of our health service the blame lies with the HSE, if the problem is in roads then its the NRA that takes the blame and on it goes.

  5. # Comment by Gerry Aug 25th, 2006 08:08

    Another potential defection to the ranks of the Independents, before or after the election is called, shows how party politics is in serious decline. Roscommon of course saw Tom Foxe elected as the Hospital Candidate in 1989, thereby unseating Sean Doherty, and he held his seat in 1992. Why wouldn’t Finneran be tempted? It could guarantee him political survival as a TD. What purpose this might be put to is another question entirely.

  6. # Comment by Darren Mac an Phríora Aug 29th, 2006 01:08

    I was surprised to hear so many people clap when the TD announced at the meeting that he would not stand for FF again if they did not sort the local hospital out. Maybe Michael Finneran is seen as a nice guy in his consituency though, I don’t know. However, I find it rather spurious that he is only putting his neck out now coming up to the election. There are a whole host of issues that FF politican’s should have resigned from the party by now over. There are a lot of good people in FF but I will never understand how they can stay in a party that has seen the gap between the rich and the poor grow so much.

  7. # Comment by Al Payne Dec 18th, 2006 20:12

    Democracy has had its day in Ireland. It is time things began to move in this country and when the TDs could not do it then the only common sense thing to do was appoint someone outside to make the decisions and blame them. In Roscommon’s case the TD was playing a game – one that Bertie played along with. Create a situation and get Bertie to say that it would not happen and now the TD will be a hero and get plenty of votes. Once th election is out of the way the HSE can continue with its job of demolishing the health service in rural Ireland.

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