4 October 2007 Edition

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Sinn Féin support motion of No Confidence in Taoiseach

SPEAKING during last week’s Dáil debate on the Motion of No Confidence in the Taoiseach, Sinn Féin Dáil leader Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin said:
“We have no hesitation in supporting this motion of no confidence as we have no confidence in this Taoiseach and in this government because of the disastrous policies they have pursued since 1997.
“They have squandered the unprecedented prosperity of the Irish economy. They have failed to build a fairer society. They have managed our public services disastrously and pursued privatisation policies that have undermined those services.
“No previous governments had such opportunities, such resources, such capacity to plan for the future, such wealth to distribute fairly. But Fianna Fáil and the PDs under this Taoiseach have failed miserably to use those huge advantages in the public interest.
“The Taoiseach and his Fianna Fáil colleagues have hidden behind Health Minister Mary Harney and the PDs in an effort to shirk their responsibility for the gross inequality and inefficiency of our health services.
“As we speak, hospitals are being forced to cut back services because of budgetary diktats from the HSE. Minister Harney and Professor Drumm tell us that patients will not be affected by these cuts. What planet are they living on? The Government’s plan to provide radiotherapy centres is in chaos.
“Before the 2002 general election, Fianna Fáil promised to end the two-tier system of hospital care. They have done the opposite. They have reinforced it, and by their notorious private for-profit hospital co-location scheme they are privatising our public health system.
“The Government’s disastrous hospital centralisation policy has cost lives. Monaghan General Hospital is being used as the template for downgrading hospital facilities that were once the pride of their communities. 24-hour A&E at Ennis is to be ended.
“The Taoiseach’s testimony at the Mahon Tribunal has raised far more questions than it has answered. It has exposed contradictions and undermined the Taoiseach’s credibility. The focus of government is being taken away from serious issues. Instead of doing their jobs, minister after minister is coming out to defend the Taoiseach.
“I have never seen a government as badly prepared for the return of the Dáil as this one. This is deeply worrying, given the serious challenges facing the economy and our public services.
“For these reasons we can have no confidence in this Taoiseach and this government.”

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