Sinn Féin TD for Wicklow/East Carlow and spokesperson for Social Protection John Brady has been reacting to comments made by Deputy Brendan Howlin in the Dáil. His comments were in relation the threat of removal or closure of some trauma care services from emergency departments across the country.
Deputy Brady said:
“ In his words of wisdom to the Tánaiste, Deputy Howlin commented that she had failed to give reassurance that Accident & Emergency units would not be affected by the unpublished report from the Trauma Steering Group.
“The hypocrisy of Deputy Howlin is incredible given the fact that he stood over the closure of a number of A&Es during his time in Government including the one at St. Columcilles at Loughlinstown in 2013.
“While, Deputy Howlin might have a short memory, the people impacted by the closure at Loughlinstown have been left to join the already overcrowded and under resourced A&E at St. Vincents, a considerable distance away.
“At the time, Deputy Howlin had little concern for the thousands of people in Wicklow who relied on access to the A&E facilities in St. Columcilles Hospital every year.
“If the contents leaked from this unpublished report are to be believed, the emergency services at Naas and Wexford hospitals are under threat. This will be a double whammy for Wicklow and will particularly impact on those living in South and West Wicklow which takes in Blessington, Arklow, Baltinglass and Carnew who rely on these services.
“While this report is yet to be published, it has raised serious concerns for a number of counties across the country. With the loss of Loughlinstown in 2013 we cannot allow further loss of critical health services in County Wicklow.”
Deputy Brady concluded by calling on the Minister for Health Simon Harris to clarify the situation regarding the future of the 9 Trauma units “The people of Wicklow, particularly in the south and the west of the County depend on Nass and Wexford and I’m calling on Minister Harris to give assurances that their future is safe”.