A prominent Fine Gael Co. Councillor has told the Donegal Democrat that he had condemned the last government on their stance on the breast cancer Services in Sligo General Hospital and that he is more than prepared to condemn the existing government should they fail to honour their problems.
Cllr. Barry O’Neill was responding to demands from Catriona McGoldrick of the Save Our Cancer Service campaign who said that the campaign was not over but would have a new focus and she called on Junior Minister John Perry, Deputy Tony McLoughlin, Senator Susan O’Keeffe and Cllr Barry O’Neill to honour promises she claims they made to resign if the services were not restored.
“I am calling for the resignation of these people - they have been in the media for the last three years promising the return of the services and they have both failed and lied.”
Ms. McGoldrick also confirmed that they will run as many candidates as possible in the next local election to highlight this discrimination against the North West.
The group were reacting to a statement by Dr. Susan O’Reilly, head of the National Cancer Control Programme, that breast cancer services will definitely not be restored to Sligo which Ms. McGoldrick said that “this was the final nail in the coffin”.
In an interview in irishhealth.com, Dr. O’Reilly had said that centralising cancer services was the right decision and she said that a patient satisfaction survey had shown that women from Sligo were generally very satisfied with the services in Galway.
Dr.O’Reilly said that patients can avail of a free bus service to Galway and added “With cancer, your first shot is your best shot and you need to be in a designated centre, treated speedily under a multi disciplinary team.”
An angry Cllr. Barry O’Neill told the Donegal Democrat, “I am making no comment on these demands except to say that I am presently on my way to Leinster House to raise this very issue at the highest level.
“I have never politicised the cancer issue at any stage - it is something that is too close to my heart and not something to play political football with.
“We have all lost friends through this disease which is practically at epidemic level. I was the first person to spearhead this campaign back in 2007 and I have never lost focus or given up on it.
“I have condemned the last Government on their policy in relation to cancer services in the North West and should this present government fail to honour their commitments to the people of Donegal I will have no problem in condemning in the strongest possible way.
“I started this campaign and rest assured, I will finish it,” concluded O’Neill.