Sunday, 24th September 2017
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“Obscene stupidity” of Government over 24/7 Cardio Care - Mary Lou McDonald, Sinn Féin

In a wide ranging interview with the media on Friday afternoon last Mary Lou McDonald, T.D., Vice President of Sinn Féin was scathing in her criticism of what she described as the “obscene stupidity” of the government in not providing the €2m. required to provide 24/7 Cardio care in University Hospital Waterford.

Mary Lou who spent the day in Waterford “meeting real people” was speaking about what she termed “the avoidable death of Thomas Power”. She contrasted the €2m. required for 24/7 cardio care with the €4m. being spent on a mortuary in UHW.

David Cullinane spoke about the way in which the various TDs for

Waterford and the South East were speaking in a united voice about the need for cardio care and mentioned Mary Butler, F.F. TD and Senator Paudie Coffey, F.G. and Senator Grace O’Sullivan, Green Party and John Halligan, TD Independent Alliance. He said it was a great example of public representatives coming together for the common good.

Mary also spoke about her visit to the Respond housing scheme at St. John’s College with which she was hugely impressed. She was meeting the Waterford Chamber of Commerce in the afternoon and had a meeting with the management of Waterford City and County Council. She stressed the need for inward investment, particularly in the North Quays which would provide a vibrant hub for Waterford and the South East. There was already €300m. pledged for the project by investors and the government would be required to invest €53m. This project would guarantee 3,000 jobs for the region.

David Cullinane said the South East was the only region where targets were not being met. It was recognised that the capital and Dublin was thriving but it was necessary to ensure that the new national plan would prioritise the North Quays project. He said there was a buoyancy now in Waterford and mentioned the Viking Triangle and the Greenway which were two projects which had huge potential to galvanise the city.

Commenting on the viewpoint that Waterford was missing out because they had no minister Deputy McDonald dismissed this as “old politics”. She said this was a “morally and economically bankrupt viewpoint.” She said this was saying to all areas without ministers that they had to go to the back of the queue and that everyting was down to singular patronage. Deputy Cullinane said they cannot be “all things to all people” while Mary Lou said that most people would respect “fair choices and fair assessment. We are not the tooth fairy” she said.

Asked to comment on the Taoiseach’s announcement about John Deasy being appointed as an envoy for the Irish diaspora in the U.S. particularly the undocumented Irish she said that his status was still not clear and wondered what his relationship would be vis a vis the Irish Ambassador to the United States. (The incoming Irish Ambassador to the United States is Mr. Dan Mulhall, the current Irish Ambassador to the UK and a native of Waterford). The Sinn Fein Vice President and David Cullinane mentioned dialogue with Finian McGrath the Disability Minister. Mary Lou specifically mentioned the need for investment in Psychiatric services in the country and spoke about the scandal of people with psychiatric problems having to access A&E before receiving the required treatment.

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