Fianna Fáil Health Spokesperson Billy Kelleher has called on Minister James Reilly to immediately clarify disturbing revelations that hospital projects in the constituencies of two of his Cabinet colleagues were fast tracked, raising again the question of political interference in health investment decisions under James Reilly’s leadership.

“These latest revelations raise serious questions not just for the Minister for Health James Reilly, but also for Ministers Hogan and Howlin,” said Deputy Kelleher.  

“People need to know on what basis these projects were chosen for investment, while services are being slashed at other hospitals across the country.  We also need to know how Ministers Hogan and Howlin were in a position to announce these projects before the board of the HSE even knew.

“This creates again the impression of stroke politics from a Health Minister who has consistently failed to convince the country of his ability to provide positive or strategic leadership in the sector.  Minister Reilly continues to ignore persistent questions about interference in the chosen locations for new Primary Care Centres. And now we have more serious allegations of further interference in the selection of hospitals for capital investment

“The fact that these latest questions also implicate two other senior Ministers, including one of the most senior leadership figures within the Labour Party, might go some way to explaining the lack of support for former Minister Róisín Shortall when she was forced to resign over Reilly’s Primary Care debacle.”