Fianna Fáil Health Spokesperson Billy Kelleher TD has criticised the move by Minister Reilly to restrict eligibility to the over 70s medical card, describing it as “the most shameless U-turn by one of the most shameless ministers to ever sit at Cabinet”.

He commented, “Four years ago when faced with more generous eligibility criteria then he is now proposing, Minister Reilly was a model of fury and indignation in his opposition. At the time he fumed, “those are the people who made this country what it is today … They raised us, nursed us when we were sick, protected us from violence, grew our food and ran a proud Civil Service.  This decision is morally wrong and the people of the country know it.”

“Today that has been exposed for the deceitful bluster it was. A Minister who promises universal healthcare is now restricting it and introducing a major roll-back of healthcare entitlements for our seniors.

“I’d like to say that such a major u-turn on the part of this Minister comes as a shock, but sadly, based on the Minister’s performance during his time in Government, such hypocrisy comes as little surprise.”