The government is coming under fire, as it completes its 100th day in office, for not delivering on key pre-election promises.
Independent TD Thomas Pringle told the Donegal Democrat yesterday: “There has been a series of U-turns at national level, on issues such as burning the bondholders and Frankfurt’s way or Labour’s way. So, it’s no surprise that the same thing is happening at local level now.
“Before the election, both Labour leader Eamon Gilmore and Fine Gael’s John Perry gave guarantees that (breast) cancer services would be restored at Sligo General Hospital. Perry, who is a member of the government, said this would happen within 100 days and he would resign if it didn’t.
“Cllrs. Barry O’Neill (FG) and Frank McBrearty (Lab) also vowed to resign from their parties over the issue, although they didn’t set a deadline on it.
“I mentioned cancer services at Sligo during my maiden speech in the Dáil and said I would be looking forward eagerly to the restoration of these services. Now, it’s clearly not going to happen.”
When Sligo-based Perry, who is now Minister of State for Small Business, was quizzed on the issue las week, he refused to be drawn. All the facts would be given, he insisted, at a press conference this Friday (June 17) at 2pm. Yesterday, Donegal’s Dinny McGinley, Minister of State for Gaeltacht Affairs, also refused to comment. He told the Democrat: “I’ll be waiting until the press conference on Friday before I comment. I won’t pre-empt my colleague.”
Friday’s press conference will be held on the 100th day since the current Dáil first sat on March 9.
The Save Our Cancer Services North West group said yesterday that they expect a “clear and unambiguous” statement on cancer services to be given on Friday and that they expect that statement to be “in line with pre-election commitments”.
Sinn Féin’s Pearse Doherty TD also accused the government of reneging on its promises, in this case in relation to the provision of new fire stations in Bundoran and Ballyshannon. Considerable confusion arose this week over whether the new stations were still going ahead, been postponed or whether, the two existing stations would be amalgamated.
Deputy Doherty commented: “The Minister seems to be all over the place on this, with about five different U-turns. I’m more confused than ever.
“First he says amalgamation isn’t an option, then it is, then it isn’t, then it is, then it isn’t. All I know is that I got a reply from the Department on Tuesday saying that it is.” Cllr. Barry O’Neill, however, said the Minister told him on Tuesday that amalgamation was not an option.”