9 May 2002 Edition

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Ahern runs away from Monaghan Hospital issue

As Taoiseach Bertie Ahern visited Counties Cavan and Monaghan last Friday but failed to visit Monaghan General Hospital, the Sinn Féin Cavan/Monaghan TD Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin said Bertie Ahern was "running away from the biggest single issue in this county". He said:

"The Taoiseach's failure to visit the Hospital while he was in Monaghan town was a glaring and deliberate omission. He and his colleagues are clearly highly embarrassed that under their stewardship the Maternity Unit was closed and other services were either removed or cut back. They are trying to dodge their ultimate responsibility for this disgraceful state of affairs. Bertie Ahern is running away from the biggest issue in this county."

Ó Caoláin said the Taoiseach "had failed to use the unprecedented wealth in the economy to build a better health system and improve public services". Under his government Counties Cavan and Monaghan were still "the forgotten counties".

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