Thurles Town Councillor David Doran (Sinn Fein) responded this week to Thurles Mayor Michael Cleary’s vote of confidence in fellow Fine Gailer Minister James O’Reilly and his subsequent attack of Doran, Cllr. Jim Ryan and Cllr. Noel O’Dwyer’s efforts with the Action Group to restore the closed beds in the Hospital of the Assumption.
“This was a textbook case of putting party politics above the needs of the local residents and aptly demonstrates what Fine Gael really thinks about our elderly and the infirm. Mayor Cleary informed us on the night that we should ‘play the game’ to get the hospital beds back. Well, I’ve seen what game Fine Gael plays and it’s not a team I care to participate with. I only pray that Noel Coonan can deliver on the announcement he made at the public meeting, but, I won’t be holding my breath. We’ve heard it before and these announcements always seem to coincide with a public meeting, only for us all to have our hopes dashed.
“Myself and Cllrs. Ryan and O’Dwyer tabled the Motion of No Confidence in Minister O’Reilly because he has so clearly shown his lack of ability for his portfolio and a shocking case of amnesia in regard to our local hospital. I welcome Cllrs. Nevin and Fogarty’s support of our motion on the night, which was successfully carried. However, Mayor Cleary and Cllr. Kenehan toed the party-line, Cllr. Kennedy for some strange reason abstained and Cllr. Grogan obviously thinks doffing the cap to his ‘betters’ is the magic cure-all for the situation. Obviously, the Lowry Team chose the sit on opposite sides of the fence on this one—another example of running with the hares and hunting with the hounds.
“I was most disappointed with Mayor Cleary’s personal attack against us and I feel that he lowered himself and brought disrepute to the office of Mayor. I have a thick skin, as do Cllr. Ryan and Cllr. O’Dwyer, but to carry on like he did was ridiculous. I can only suppose that he had a melt-down of sorts on the night. That still is no excuse for his remarks and I feel that he owes all of us a public apology. We have given freely of our time and resources to support the Action Committee. When we travelled to Dublin, we did so happily at our own expense and, if I need to go again in the future, I will be glad to do so. I was proud to lead the delegation to meet with Gerry Adams and I’m proud that my party is fully backing the Action Committee. Mayor Cleary chose to belittle our hard work on their behalf, but the situation is too serious for such buffoonery.
“I would also like to recognize that our own Health spokesman, Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin, TD, travelled from his Cavan-Monaghan constituency to be present at the public meeting, and Billy Kelleher, Fianna Fail’s health spokesman, travelled up from Cork on the night. They both had long journeys at the end of the meeting, but they felt the issue important enough to make time in their busy schedules. It’s a pity Minister Kelly chose to present awards on the evening rather than engaging with his constituents on the urgent matter of our hospital. As I always say, it’s a matter of priority.”