Thank you, Áine
I would like, through the medium of your newspaper, to express
thanks on behalf of myself, and the Sinn Féin party to Áine Ní
Chonnaill of the Immigration Control Platform for mentioning me
during her deliberations on the Clonakilty Asylum Seekers feature
on last Friday night's ``Late Late Show''.
This spectacular piece of publicity, which I hasten to add, was
not sought or paid for by me or my party, has done us the world
of good. I received a number of phone calls during the weekend,
one from a total stranger, praising our stance on this issue.
Yet, I must humbly point out that Áine gave me far too much
praise and credit when she described me as ``the master of spin'',
that has created the overall positive disposition of locals in
Clonakilty towards the asylum seekers living in our town.
If bouquets are to be thrown, then they should be aimed at the
Friends' of the Asylum Seekers, a group of volunteers who offer
their talents, help, advice and time to make life for other human
beings living in the community better. Also, the management and
staff at Clonakilty Lodge and the many other individuals who in
their own quiet, unselfish and discreet way assist these
strangers in a strange land.
Perhaps Áine, you might consider joining Sinn Féin as Director of
Publicity? After all, if you can get on the most popular show on
national television and plug us like last Friday, then your heart
must surely be in the right place - somewhere!!
Arís Áine, go raibh míle maith agat. Tiocfaidh ár lá!
Is mise, le meas,
Cllr. Cionnaith Ó Súilleabháin,
I am glad to see that work has begun on the new hospital in
Tullamore. The benefits to the community will be considerable in
light of the fact that this is to be one of the most modern and
up to date hospitals in the country.
However, isnt it sad that although £81m is to be spent on the new
facilities, there is to be no money spent on providing any
permanent paediatric or maternity service to the people of
Offaly. That's right! No full time residential paeditrician or
gynacologist will be employed in the new hospital.
The present situation in Tullamore and indeed in Offaly itself is
that if a child or pregnant woman needs special treatment, then
they have got to travel outside of their own county to recieve
the necessary care. This is just not acceptable anymore.
According to Central Statistics Office data, on average 400
babies are born each year to parents from Offaly since closure of
the maternity wing of Tullamore general hospital in the mid 80's.
With the trend set to rise, the question has to be asked: why
are we not getting a maternity unit back in Tullamore? Surely
the regionalisation plan in the late 70's is now outdated. If
such vast amounts of money are being spent on improving the
services then surely the need for regionalisation of certain
services to different areas should be scrapped.
The population of Offaly is constanly expanding but the number of
Offaly people inhabiting the county is decreasing. Can we not
have the choice to have our children born in the county of our
own birth? Can we not have our children cared for in their own
I say to the minister, Mr. Martin; we have the right to choose
where out children are born and cared for, so do the right thing
and give us back the facilities your predessors took from us.
Womans Affairs Spokesperson
Sinn Fein Comhairle Ceantair for Laois/Offaly