6 July 2012 2 Comments by The Northern Standard

Mayor of Co Monaghan Hugh McElvaney was compelled to call a brief adjournment to the proceedings of Monday’s meeting of Monaghan Co Council to quell a high-volume shouting match that erupted primarily between the Sinn Féin and Fianna Fáil benches over the FF representatives’ record on Monaghan General Hospital.
The row – which continued for several minutes into the adjournment – was precipitated by SF remarks to the effect that the FF councillors were displaying, in their contributions to a debate, a new found interest in the Hospital issue which contrasted with their record on it when their party was in government.
Pádraig McNally and other FF councillors took serious exception to the charge and called into question SF’s record on health issues in Northern Ireland, prompting escalating volleys of exchanges, which eventually prompted Mayor McElvaney to declare a time-out.
Being discussed at the time was a letter sent on behalf of Minister for Health Dr James Reilly stating that he would not be in a position to meet with a Co Council delegation to discuss the closure of kitchen facilities at Monaghan General Hospital and St Mary’s Hospital, Castleblayney “due to a very heavy schedule of Government and Departmental business”.
Independent councillor Paudge Connolly said the correspondence the Council had recently received from the Minister’s office in response to their delegation request almost gave the impression of the Minister playing ducks and drakes with the Co Council. The Minister’s response was not good enough, and not acceptable – all the Council was asking of his time was something like twenty minutes.
Colr Connolly added that all Minister Reilly had done since he got into office was “chop, chop, chop”.
Fianna Fáil’s Seamus Coyle proposed that the Council write again to their Oireachtas members for Cavan/Monaghan asking them to expedite the meeting with the Minister.
John O’Brien (FF) declared himself most disappointed with the Minister’s response, and agreed it was now time to call on their Fine Gael Deputies and councillors to put pressure on Minister Reilly for a meeting.
“I don’t believe that he has that heavy a schedule that he couldn’t take a half-hour out of his time to meet us on this important matter,” Colr O’Brien stated.
He didn’t believe that a cost benefit analysis had been carried out on the proposal to close the kitchens, and expressed the view that the quality of service in this regard that currently existed at the Monaghan and ‘Blayney hospitals would be replaced by a service of inferior quality if this proposal was put in place.
SF’s Matt Carthy said this was the fourth occasion the Co Council had been told that the Minister for Health was not in a position to meet them. However, he thought “some people have some neck on them” in terms of talking about this issue, because the previous Minister, Mary Harney, in her five years in office had also …


  • Steve Latenne said:

    FF should have reeled Harney in back when she was closing places down left right and centre.
    Anyone who remembers Dr Rory O’Hanlon and Margeret Conlon’s complete and utter silence and refusal to even acknowledge the debacle with Monaghan general hospital knows that it’s a bit late for them to come over all holier than thou at this stage.

  • John Murphy said:

    Fianna ‘Fail’ Fail being the key word…..should sit quitely in the corner……bad bad bad