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27/10/2021

TD presses Taoiseach to meet St Brigid's Hospital Action Group during his Tipperary visit

TD presses Taoiseach to meet St Brigid's Hospital Action Group during his Tipperary visit

St Brigid's Hospital in Carrick-on-Suir

A Tipperary TD pressed the Taoiseach in the Dáil yesterday to meet with the Save St Brigid's Action Group, which is planning to present a petition of over 7,000 names to the Oireachtas Public Petitions Committee next Wednesday (September 22).

Independent TD Mattie McGrath appealed to Taoiseach Micheál Martin to meet with the campaign group when he visits Ardfinnan tomorrow morning (Friday) to view the problems the local community is experiencing with its bridge.

Referring to the excess of €3.84 billion the Government has spent on Covid-19 pandemic measures, deputy McGrath said: “The people of Carrick-on-Suir, and indeed east Waterford and south Kilkenny, are bewildered as to why St Brigid’s Hospital was closed in the middle of a pandemic, when all this money was being thrown around like confetti.

“I’m asking you to meet the action committee, which you haven’t done, and meet the councillors in Tipperary.

“You’re coming to Ardfinnan this week… Would you please make time to visit Carrick or to meet a deputation from the hard-working committee who are coming here next Wednesday.

“Thousands and thousands of people who want to stay in that hospital have signed a petition that they wanted to be treated in that hospital. They have faith in it, and faith in the staff and the management and indeed in the nursing care.

“You have refused to meet them and so has Minister [Mary] Butler. Would you please agree to meet a group from that on your visit to Tipperary?”

Responding, the Taoiseach said he has never refused to meet the campaigners.

“I hope you don’t object to me going to Ardfinnan Bridge with Deputy Jackie Cahill and Councillor Micheál Anglim. And again, there have been various requests to meet and I’ve refused nobody.

“The only issue is to try and facilitate meetings and so on. So, I’ll do what I can there.”

The Taoiseach also rejected deputy McGrath's claim that the Government had “thrown around money like confetti”. He pointed out that the €3.84m the TD referred to not wasted money, it was important money spent on such measures as income supports for people who lost their jobs, to protect jobs in companies impacted by the pandemic and on badly needed health services to deal with Covid-19.

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