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FG and Labour will pay a heavy price for those broken promises

Three years ago, when Enda Kenny and his coalition came into power, they could never have guessed they would be facing such significant losses in the local elections on Friday.

But the Fine Gael and Labour Government has squandered the vast amounts of goodwill and popularity it once enjoyed in the country.

The electorate have become deeply disillusioned, angry and feel a real sense of betrayal at a long list of broken promises.

This government promised a new beginning in Irish politics. Cronyism, nepotism and political patronage were to be banished forever.

It promised it would herald in a new era of accountability, transparency and uncompromising integrity into the political life of the nation.

Three years on, those solemn commitments have not been honoured.


Enda Kenny (inset) and his Government promised to put a cap on high earners’ salaries, but didn’t.

The Government promised to put a cap on the salaries of special advisers and didn’t. It promised it would outlaw the practice of employing the children of TD’s and senators - it didn’t. It promised to eradicate the plethora of quangos in Ireland and guess what? It didn’t.

However, it is in the area of health which the Government has let Ireland down the most.

Fine Gael vowed to reform our dysfunctional and broken health service, yet patients in A&E continue to suffer the indignity and humiliation of being left on trolleys for days on end. Thousands of patients still remain on waiting lists for months - sometimes for years - waiting for life-enhancing and life-saving surgery.

Home health respite, care respite and care grants have been cut to the bone.

We still have an inadequate ambulance service and only last week one of the country’s top clinical directors, Professor Shane O’Neill, 
resigned in protest from the management of Beaumont Hospital because of his fears for patient safety.


But most disturbing of all is the latest onslaught on our sick, disabled and terminally ill by the removal or threat of removal of their medical cards.

It is a monstrous state of affairs that the medical cards are being taken away from permanently disabled children, some with incurable ailments and patients suffering from terminal cancers and other fatal illnesses.

This Government came to power with a solemn promise to reform the health service. Now, after three years, the HSE and the Department of Health is in a greater state of chaos than when they came to power.

A much-used phrase recently was that the Department of Justice was not fit for purpose. We can now use that phrase to describe the HSE and the Department of Health.

No doubt Fine Gael and Labour will be held to account in Friday’s local elections. And perhaps Minister Reilly, who has presided for three years over this catastrophe, should consider his own position and follow the lead of his ministerial colleague Alan Shatter, and go.