Roscommon Hospital closure – Politicans lie, the poor die.


The recent closure of the Roscommon Hospital Accident and Emergency department goes to show, yet again, that the FG/Labour coalition is fully intent on following identical “slash and burn” policies to their much-loathed predecessors.  In an astonishingly overt show of contempt for the will of the electorate, as well as a demonstration of the pressure the IMF/ECB can bring to bear on our politicians, Kenny and co. have completely and utterly reneged on a promise they publicly made to the people of Roscommon just months ago. 

The obscene idea that somebody dying of a heart attack would have to travel up to 125km, potentially taking up to two hours, to reach the nearest A&E is clearly not something which bothers Roscommon/South Leitrim Fine Gael TD Frank Feighan however.  Feighan was elected by a comfortable margin after telling his constituents in February that “with us, James Reilly and Enda Kenny, the future of Roscommon hospital is safe, because we are telling the truth”[1].  He then proceeded to vote FOR its closure in the Dáil.  

Minister for Health James Reilly told us just as categorically that he “would like to confirm that Fine Gael undertake, in accordance with the Fine Gael policy on local hospitals, to retain the emergency, surgical, medical and other health services at Roscommon Hospital which are present on the formation of the 31st Dail, and upgrade such services where feasible.  I trust this clarifies the matter…..Kind regards, James ReillyTD”[2].  These statements, coupled with the minister’s deliberate twisting of the mortality rate statistics for Roscommon hospital[3], shows us just what Fine Gael really had in store for us with their new “FairCare” health policy.

As the upcoming household/water taxes and health cuts such as these continue to put enormous pressure on the working class, it is vital that we all do what we can to fight grassroots community campaigns against the austerity measures imposed on us by the government and their paymasters in the European Central Bank and the IMF.  The one thing capital fears is the organised anger of the people, and it is high time they were made to feel our rage. 

WORDS: Ben Ó Ceallaigh