Susan O’Reilly, Head of the National Cancer Control Programme (NCCP) recently stated that cancer services will “definitely not” be restored to Sligo General Hospital.
Save Our Cancer Services who have been fighting for the restoration of the services since they were removed said the statement was “hurtful” as Minister for Health James Reilly had said he hadn’t “closed the door” on the restoration.
The campaigners said, “The words of Minister Reilly are just a continuation of the lies that the people here have been told this past four years by both Fine Gael and Labour and designed to postpone the day when John Perry, Tony McLoughlin, Barry O’Neill and Susan O’Keeffe are confronted to act to honour their solemn pledges to resign if the government failed to restore the services.
“Well that day has now arrived and we are calling directly on them to honour their promises and to resign immediately. They must do this and join with the people of the region to fight to save our services. It is simply not tenable that they should masquerade as representatives of the people of the region having garnered votes based on a lie. To do so would be a travesty and would not only stand in the way of the people having their services restored but it would disenfranchise them as the majority of people who voted in the last General elections only voted for those candidates who gave a pledge to have cancer services restored.
“There is a legal dimension to this too. Last year we got advice from a Junior Council who said that while there was a chance that the government would honour their promises to restore services a case would be difficult, however now that they are clearly not going to do that it is a simple case of “breach of promise”. We will approach a Senior Council to see how best to proceed with a case. Of course any law firms who might like to help can do so and that would be very much appreciated. We are determined that those politicians who lied to get votes do not get away with it. We intend to take whatever actions are necessary to continue with this campaign.”
Caitriona McGoldrick from the campaign told the Leitrim Observer, “I am devastated. I feared for a long time that this day would come but I wanted to believe those who gave us all those promises, I wanted the services restored because I know what having to travel to Galway means for people who are fighting cancer. I can’t and won’t stop this fight because I know what is happening is wrong. We seem here to be stuck with politicians from the mainstream parties who will do anything to get elected.”