Monday, June 20, 2011

Fine Gael & Labour Treat Cancer Patients with Contempt

Fine Gael Minister and TD for Sligo/north Leitrim John Perry has been accused of treating cancer patients and their families with contempt in order to further his own political career.

Sligo/north Leitrim FG TD's John Perry & Tony McLoughlin flank their leader Enda Kenny in Sligo
In a scathing attack éirígí Sligeach activist Gerry Casey also accused Perry of gross dishonesty and of engaging in a deliberate deception to dupe people into voting for him and Fine Gael at the general election.

Casey was speaking following a press conference held on Friday (June 17) in Sligo Park Hotel by Perry relating to his pledge to have breast cancer services returned to Sligo General Hospital (SGH) within 100 days of Fine Gael taking power.  Friday marked the 101st day of the Fine Gael/Labour coalition.

At the press conference, cancer care campaigners from the north-west called on Perry to resign his seat as promised by him if the services were not delivered within those 100 days.  This is just one of a series of  U-turns carried out by the Fine Gael/Labour coalition since assuming power. 

(Below is a video of Friday's press conference courtesy of Sligo today.  The second video below, also courtesy of Sligo Today  shows the pre-election commitments given by John Perry, Susan O'Keefe, Tony McLoughlin and other politicians in relation to restoring breast cancer services to SGH)

In a statement released after the press conference the Save Our Cancer Services - North West campaign called on Fine Gael and Labour representatives to resign their seats.

"This is a profoundly disappointing and disturbing day, not only for the North West region and healthcare provision, but for the image and integrity of politicians and the democratic process itself. It is very clear that both Fine Gael and Labour gave unambiguous commitments to restore cancer services to Sligo General Hospital on assuming power and those promises and commitments were predicated on the reality that to leave one half of the country denuded of these services was not only very bad governance regarding the running of a health service but it was grossly unfair and discriminatory."

"These commitments and pledges are well documented and it is disingenuous, to say the least, for anyone to suggest now that there may be some valid excuse or explanation for reneging on them. To do so merely adds to the growing and dangerous disconnect that is emerging between the electorate and politicians."

Expressing his support for the cancer care campaigners, éirígí activist Gerry Casey said: 

“Perry's pledge to the people in the north west was unequivocal – the return of breast cancer services within 100 days or he would resign. There was no ambiguity, no room for any fudge.”

“The time is up and Perry and his colleagues have not delivered on their promises. All the Fine Gael and Labour TD's and Senators in Sligo/north Leitrim should now live up their pre-election commitments and resign their seats.  ”

“In the days before the general election, Labour Senator Susan O'Keefe went to great lengths, including erecting posters, outlining her and Labours pledge to return breast cancer services and indeed make SGH a ninth centre of excellence."

"During that whole campaign she made much of her so-called 'integrity'. People can now see clearly for themselves how little integrity O'Keefe actually has. She refuses to resign her seat or resign from the Labour party despite it supposedly being a 'red line issue' for her and Labour when she was looking for votes at the start of the year.  Now as she collects her fat salary and generous expenses as a Senator, the suffering of cancer patients and their families in the north west have been quickly forgotten.”

Susan O'Keefe & Labour leader Eamon Gilmore making bogus pre-election promises to cancer care campaigners in Sligo City Hall
Casey concluded: “These broken promises show the true nature of our so-called democracy. Relying on electing politicians every five years is to a large degree meaningless as we have no control over what they do, what decisions they make once they get their grip on power. Occasionally putting a mark beside a candidate on a ballot paper is designed not to enable change or allow people's participation in decisions effecting their communities or country. It is designed to give people that illusion while the decision making processes remain firmly within the grip of the political and business classes that control this country."

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