Kenny backs down on cancer pledge
By Matt Britton
At a meeting in Sligo yesterday afternoon the leader of Fine Gael refused to give a firm commitment to the restoration of the breast cancer services in Sligo General Hospital.
Despite numerous promises by opposition parties throughout the Save our Services campaign to retain and then later to restore the Oncology services in the hospital, Mr. Kenny said yesterday, "I am not prepared to promise something if I am not confident that I can deliver it.
"I will not close down any of the existing services in the hospital unless there is something better to put in its place. I cannot at this stage give a firm commitment that the breast cancer services will be restored."
Earlier this week controversy erupted when Labour spokesperson Joan Burton was accused of pulling back on her party's commitment to restoring the services.
Ann McGowan, a recovered Cancer sufferer and an active campaigner said that she was "fed up with politician's promises in relation to Sligo General Hospital".
Eamonn Gilmore, the leader of the Labour party is on record as saying that his party supports the restoration of the services and indeed the establishment of a ninth centre of excellence in Sligo.
Ms. Burton was less forthright in her position but on Tuesday morning senior party member Rory Quinn reiterated Mr. Gilmore's pledge and said that it was his party's commitment to restoring the service.
Ann Mc Gowan added, "It seems that you can promise anything you like until you get near what you are aiming at. Now it is looking like Labour will be sharing power and are already pulling back on their promises.
"I am fed up of listening to all politician's jargon. They should drop the jargon and listen to the people."
Independent councillor, Thomas Pringle reacting to the news said, "We now have a stage where the anticipated new Government are already breaking promises before they are even elected.
"Fine Gael left the whole issue of the breast cancer services until the eleventh hour before they signed off on a watered down pledge. It is quite obvious that a Fine Gael/Labour Government will not be any different to the outgoing government.
"It will be more of the same with the people of Donegal suffering once again."
Pearse Doherty slated the Fine Gael leader's u-turn and said, "From the very start of the campaign to retain these essential services, Fine Gael politicised it and used it as one of their platform issues.
"Kenny has conceded today that the cancer services will not be restored but by saying that he ‘will not close anything unless there is something better to replace it is also quite ominous.
"Gerry Adams as leader of our party has given his commitment - he is a man of his word. We will fight to restore these services.
"This is a crime against the women of Donegal and the North West."