Labour Party Cllr Dermot Looney has slammed comments at yesterday's Council meeting by a Fianna Fáil Councillor who supports the closure of Tallaght Children’s Hospital. Looney’s reaction comes in the wake of the monthly meeting of South Dublin County Council in which Fianna Fáil Councillor Eamonn Walsh voted and spoke against a motion calling for the children’s hospital to be saved.
The motion, proposed by Labour Mayor Eamonn Maloney, asked Councillors to oppose the closure of Tallaght Children’s Hospital and the planned Government policy to relocate it to the Mater in the North Inner City.
“Tallaght Hospital has only been opened for ten years but for most of that time the Fianna Fáil/PD axe has hung over the head of the Children’s Hospital,” said Looney. “Tens of thousands of parents from across Tallaght and the rest of South and West Dublin – not to mention Kildare, Wicklow and other parts of the country – have benefited from this excellent and accessible facility, staffed by hardworking and dedicated personnel who themselves want the Hospital to stay in Tallaght.”
“Four years ago, then-Taoiseach Bertie Ahern announced that a new Children’s Hospital would be built at the site of the Mater Hospital in his own constituency of Dublin Central. The scandalous lack of accessibility, parking and traffic issues around the Mater – never mind the cost – shows up yet another example of Fianna Fáil cute hoor-ism.”
“Ever since, Fianna Fáil’s representatives in Tallaght – particularly TD’s Conor Lenihan and Charlie O’Connor – have blustered and blown while our Kids’ Hospital faces the chop. They’ve put out leaflets and press releases and made speeches full of misinformation and spin, claiming to oppose the closure of the facility. One of them even turned up to a march organised by the Hospital Action Group and Mayor Maloney to save the hospital!”
“But now it seems, with Cllr Walsh’s incredulous speech on Monday, that the Fianna Fáil mask has slipped. Cllr Walsh’s bizarre suggestion that local parents should bring sick kids on the Luas to the Mater shows not only a heartlessness, but a cluelessness on FF’s part. His accusation of ‘emotional blackmail’ against Councillor colleagues who continue to support the hospital and its work shows Fianna Fáil at its core – nasty, brutish and unfair.”
"Labour wants the Children's Hospital to stay in Tallaght. We want to properly resource this modern facility which is easily accessible to hundreds of thousands of people. My colleagues Pat Rabbitte TD and Cllr Eamonn Maloney are standing on this ticket in the general election, whenever it comes - local voters should now be clear on where Fianna Fáil stands."