Speaking ahead of the Dáil sitting tomorrow, Fianna Fáil Leader Micheál Martin TD has issued a fresh call on the Taoiseach to apologise to the people of Roscommon and to Dáil Éireann following his shambolic handling of the Roscommon Hospital issue.

Deputy Martin commented, “Another day has passed without the Taoiseach acknowledging the fact that he misled the Dáil and the people of Roscommon on his promises to retain a 24/7 A&E facility at the local hospital.  Last week, he told the Dáil that he had made no such promises and dismissed criticism on the issue as ‘pathetic’.  As recently as Saturday, he told RTÉ that he had been careful not to make any such promises during the election campaign.

“However, the emergence of a taped recording which categorically proves that these claims are untrue is a very serious development.  It shows in graphic detail the lengths to which Enda Kenny and Fine Gael were going in their promises to voters.  At the weekend the Taoiseach said he was sorry for any confusion.  There is no confusion – his promises could not have been clearer.

“The second string of Government spin – that the HIQA report changed everything is equally flimsy.  In his famous written pledge to the people of Roscommon, Fine Gael Deputy Leader James Reilly again could not have been clearer when he said, ‘Yes, local hospitals must be safe, and patient safety must be our first priority. But on taking office we will immediately suspend the reconfiguration process.’  Also, ‘Safety is not simply about surgical competence, but is also about timely access.  Time to treatment, particularly in remote geographical locations, is absolutely crucial’.”

Deputy Martin concluded, “Fine Gael and the Labour Party misled voters in the search for votes.  The attempts to spin their way out of this cynicism is only adding to people’s hurt and anger.  The Taoiseach must correct the record of Dáil Éireann tomorrow and apologise to deputies, before going to Roscommon to apologise directly for misleading voters there and then denying that he had made them any promises.”