Fianna Fail’s 2011 General Election candidate in Roscommon, Ivan Connaughton, has criticised a statement made in last week’s Roscommon People by Cllr. Valerie Byrne where she stated: “It was Fianna Fail that made the decision to close the A&E at Roscommon County Hospital originally and Fine Gael were only carrying out their policy when they got in.”
Mr. Connaughton stated: “I have the height of respect for the Hospital Action Committee but on this occasion, I believe Cllr. Byrne should withdraw her inaccurate statement.”
He continued: “The truth of the matter is Fine Gael and Labour misled the people of Roscommon and adjoining counties by making a promise it reneged upon. The consequences are clearly evident and unfortunately we will see similar cases going forward.
“The commitment made by Michael Finneran and Fianna Fail that all services at Roscommon County Hospital would be safe while in Government was fully adhered to. During the General Election campaign last year, Dr. James Reilly and Fine Gael distributed a letter to the people with a promise on the Hospital.
“Over the past year, I have met hundreds of angry voters who were let down, many of whom are now disillusioned with the whole political system. Once that letter was in circulation, it ensured the election of Denis Naughten and Frank Feighan. John McDermott and Ivan Connaughton along with all the other candidates were automatically doomed from then on.”
In conclusion, Mr. Connaughton stated: “The substantial investment made at Roscommon County Hospital by Fianna Fail while in government clearly shows our policy was to enhance the services provided at the hospital. I fully support the HAC in their campaign for the A&E to be restored with immediate effect.
“I always believed it would take a political decision to retain all services at the hospital and I clearly stated that during the election campaign. In my opinion, the ability of a politician is assessed on their standing and persuasion within their own political party or grouping.”
Issue dated: 03 August 2012
© Roscommon People