Taoiseach Leo Varadkar
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar will come under pressure on issues facing the county when he visits Donegal today.
He will be officially opening the Cockhill Bridge in Buncrana today and will also visit E&I Engineering in Burnfoot where he is expected to make an announcement of around 100 new jobs.
The Fine Gael leader is facing pressure over the closure of 17 rural post offices, the issue of Mica affected homes and the ongoing issues at Letterkenny University Hospital. Brexit is expected to be high on the agenda at the business lunch.
The Cathaoirleach of Donegal County Council Seamus Ó Domhnaill said he intends to raise the issue of the post office closures with the taoiseach during his visit.
A number of meetings are to be held about the closure of post offices in Donegal in the coming days.
“I will be raising what I believe to be the draconian position that An Post is taking and which has been ratified by his government and I will be raising the decline of rural Ireland and asking him to stop assisting in the rural decline of our country,” Cllr Ó Domhnaill said.
Donegal TD Pat the Cope Gallagher called on the Taoiseach to pay a fact-finding visit to Letterkenny University Hospital.
“It is essential that the former Minister for Health Varadkar visits the hospital to see first hand the crisis situation at the hospital, with serious capacity issues right throughout the departments and wards, chronic overcrowding in the accident and emergency department as well as the ongoing failure of the government to sanction the 19-bed short stay ward, and notwithstanding the under-resourcing and chronic staffing shortages across the various departments within the hospital, which have led to the present day and ongoing crises at the hospital.”
When in Inishowen the taoiseach will meet with members of the Mica Action Group at a house affected by the issue.
The group is calling for a funding allocation in the upcoming budget to kick-start any remedial work needed to address the defective blocks issue in the county. Speaking ahead of the meeting, Donegal government minister Joe McHugh said: “We are talking about people’s homes. This visit will give An Taoiseach the chance to see first-hand the conditions people are enduring."
Ballyshannon-based political activist Valerie McNulty said she expected there would be protests at the taoiseach's visit to Letterkenny about the many issues facing Donegal.
“He has forgotten about Donegal and Donegal people should remind him about rural Ireland.”