Two Fine Gael concillors from Roscommon Dominic Connolly and Laurence Fallon have resigned from the party in protest at the closure of services at Roscommon Hospital.
The move came as Fine Gael leader, Taoiseach Enda Kenny was forced into an embarrassing climbdown over a denial that he had made personal commitments about the hospital’s services in the run-up to the election.
Having previously denied that he made any commitment in relation to the retention of services at A&E, Taoiseach Enda Kenny was forced into an embarrassing u-turn yesterday evening. The u-turn followed the released of a tape of the Taoiseach speaking in Roscommon prior to this year’s general election in which the Taoiseach assured voters of the future of the hospital.
The Taoiseach issued the following statement yesterday, Sunday, evening:
“During the course of a recorded radio interview yesterday, I stated that I had not made personal commitments regarding local services in advance of the general election.
In fact, when speaking in Roscommon during the election campaign, I repeated the publicly known commitment, made in good faith by Fine Gael, on the retention of services at Roscommon County Hospital.
Since then, the independent health regulator HIQA has advised that the provision of accident and emergency services at Roscommon and other smaller hospitals is not safe. The Government cannot ignore this expert advice and, consequently this element of Fine Gael’s commitment is no longer tenable. I regret any confusion that may have arisen from my comments yesterday. It was never my intention to mislead anyone on this matter.
The Government will proceed with its plans for the reform of the health service and, in so doing, will prove its commitment to the future of smaller hospitals, including Roscommon.”