Fianna Fáil Health Spokesperson, Billy Kelleher TD, has called on Education Minister Ruairi Quinn to make a statement on the position of James Reilly, following revelations in this morning’s media that he confided to a meeting of the Parliamentary Labour Party that Reilly “was not up to the job and should go”.
Deputy Kelleher commented, “Finally, someone in the Labour Party appears to have had enough and confirmed to the media what they have been saying in private for months – that their Minister’s colleagues have no confidence in James Reilly and want him replaced.
“The detailed account of the private meeting, where Ruairi Quinn spelt out the cynicism and hypocrisy of the Labour Party in Cabinet, will leave many ordinary citizens angry and frustrated.
“If the Labour Party recognises that James Reilly is not the person to lead positive change in the health service, why did they make speeches and vote to support him in September when Fianna Fáil sought his removal? Why did they back him when their own colleague Róisín Shortall was forced to resign her position? Why do they continue to support him as the health budget spirals out of control and front line services bear the brunt of his mismanagement?
“Ruairi Quinn must make a statement at the earliest opportunity to confirm whether the remarks attributed to him in this morning’s media are accurate. This coming Wednesday, we are likely to see in very stark terms the effects of James Reilly’s failure, as health services are slashed. Will Labour ministers again stand to applaud him in public, while continuing to condemn him in private?
“This morning’s revelations put further strain on the last threads of the Labour Party’s credibility in Government. Will Minister Quinn have the courage to say in public what he is telling friends, or will those last threads be stretched further still?”