Irish Republican News · July 14, 2011
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
Kenny and Gilmore caught as false promises are exposed

The Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore both misled voters in pre-election assurances about the future of hospital services in Roscommon, it has emerged.

Enda Kenny came under a blistering attack at the weekend as he weakly sought to distance himself from a general election pledge to retain the emergency department at Roscommon County Hospital.

A recording of his pre-election pledge for the hospital’s services by a Sunday Business Post journalist, made just five months ago, clearly disproved Kenny’s claims that he had made no such promise.

Speaking to a reporter on Saturday, Kenny was asked if he had “made any personal promises” on the hospital during the election.

“I was at pains around the country to say, on more than one radio station, that I wasn’t travelling the country making promises that I couldn’t stand over,” he replied.

However, the recording later revealed Mr Kenny told a Fine Gael rally in Roscommon in February: “We are committed to maintaining the services in Roscommon County Hospital”.

At least two cabinet members and a host of other senior members of both coalition parties made similar pre-election promises, and are now also showing a failing memory in their recall of these pledges.

One of those was Tanaiste and Labour Party leader Eamon Gilmore -- a transcript of an interview by Gilmore with a local radio station showed that he had publicly vowed to retain all of the hospital’s services.

On Sunday night Mr Kenny issued a statement expressing regret over “any confusion” arising from his response to a weekend query regarding general election commitments on Roscommon hospital.

But outrage in Roscommon has now forced two Fine Gael councillors to quit the parliamentary party in protest.

Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams confronted the government on their lack of honesty with the public, and said the Taoiseach’s credibility was ‘on the line’.

Mr Adams said it was clear thatKenny had broken a personal commitment he gave to retain services at Roscommon Hospital, and that the Labour Party was also guilty of breaking election promises.

“Less than five months after the general election, in which people thought they were voting for change, we are seeing a crisis in our hospital services brought on by a continuation of the policies of the previous government,” he said.

“Citizens deserve better than that. The Taoiseach and Fine Gael should keep their election promises. Full A&E services should be restored to Roscommon Hospital.”

Sinn Fein held a day of action involving a series of protests at hospitals across the state on Monday. The protests took place in Roscommon as well as at other threatened hospitals at Loughlinstown, Tallaght in Dublin, Mallow in County Cork Letterkenny in County Donegal, as well as in Monaghan and Sligo.

Up to a thousand gathered from early on Monday outside Roscommon County Hospital in a mass protest about the closure.

Many carried crosses, while one woman carried a large photo of the Taoiseach with the word “Liar” written across it.

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© 2011 Irish Republican News