Longford Fine Gael TD James Bannon has dismissed any notion that he will come under party censure for a recent attack on Minister for State for Disability, Equality and Mental Health, Roisin Shortall.
“I always speak my mind and what I want is for the Minister to give a commitment to the families, patients and staff of St. Christopher’s Services, Longford,” he said. “In any republic the Constitution allows people to speak out and I will do so on issues of concern to my constituency. I will not be muzzled.”
The Legan TD had recently criticised Minister Shortall for her apparent refusal to debate the issue of funding for St. Christopher’s Services in Longford.
“What I want from the Minister is to give a commitment to the families, patients and staff. We met with the Minister earlier this year and we discussed the issue of funding.
“She was well informed in relation to St. Christopher’s Services. We lined out how the funding shortage is impacting service levels and also the close relationship between St. Christopher’s Services and the community.”
Addressing future budgetary concerns, the Fine Gael TD is determined to secure a commitment that there will be no further cuts in 2013 and 2014. “Any more could be the straw that broke the camel’s back. We have to give priority to funding disability services. I am appealing to the Minister to prevent future cuts at St. Christopher’s Services,” he said.