Thursday, February 26, 2009

éirígí slam latest Health and Education cuts for Sligo

Sligo éirígí activist Gerry Casey has condemned the Fianna Fail led administration and the Health Service Executive (HSE) following revelations that Sligo General Hospital is to have its 2009 budget cut by seven million euro, while seven primary school teaching posts are to be lost at a number of schools throughout the county.

Responding to the Hospital Budget reduction Casey said: “These latest cutbacks are the actions of an administration that has failed completely the people that they claim to represent. This is yet another serious blow to already under-pressure services at Sligo General Hospital and to the people in need of those vital services.”

“This Fianna Fail led administration has repeatedly shown a callous disregard for the health and well being of the people of this region and they must reverse these cutbacks or resign from office. Peoples’ health must not be made suffer to pay for the greed of the politicians, developers and bankers that have squandered the wealth of the Celtic Tiger.”

“There is a clear and workable alternative. What is now needed more than ever is the building of a first class health service that is truly free and equal, paid for by direct taxation and that is based on medical need and not ability to pay.”

In relation to the cutbacks in Primary Schools throughout Sligo, Casey said: “The loss of seven teachers in primary schools in County Sligo is a direct result of the budget cutbacks announced last year. At the time, éirígí said that the measures, if implemented, would do untold damage to the education of our children for years to come, particularly the most disadvantaged and vulnerable.”

“Sadly this is now what is happening and children attending the schools affected will now see their education suffer. Those schools include St Edward’s, Carbury, Carraroe and the Mercy in the town, with schools in Ballymote, Castleknock and Cliffoney also affected.”

He concluded: “This administration’s vision for the future is one that witnesses parents of school children struggling to fund the education of their children, that sees their children in classrooms that are overcrowded in rundown schools or having to be sent home because there is nobody available to teach them. This is not éirígí’s vision and it is not the vision that parents have for the education of their children. Education is a right – not a privilege to be granted one moment and snatched away the next. They must reverse the education cuts in their entirety.

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