User Preferences

  • Language - en | ga
  • text size >>
  • make this your indymedia front page make this your indymedia front page

Blog Feeds

Spirit of Contradiction

offsite link Review: Do Religions Evolve? Mon Aug 14, 2017 19:54 | Dara McHugh

offsite link Fake News: The Epistemology of Media Wed Jun 07, 2017 11:52 | Gavin Mendel-Gleason

offsite link Officials and Provisionals Sat Apr 01, 2017 22:54 | James O'Brien

offsite link Interview with Cathal Goulding Mon Dec 26, 2016 17:11 | Cathal Goulding

offsite link Trump, Russia and the CIA Sat Dec 10, 2016 18:23 | Gavin Mendel-Gleason

Spirit of Contradiction >>

Public Inquiry
Interested in maladministration. Estd. 2005

offsite link Daniel McConnell: Happy to wear establishment blinkers

offsite link State failing in its duty to enforce law Anthony

offsite link Elaine Byrne/Fergus Finlay: Afraid to condemn their own? Anthony

offsite link Jobstown trial exposes mainstream bias Anthony

offsite link RTE: Blatant censorship and manipulation of news Anthony

Public Inquiry >>

The Saker
A bird's eye view of the vineyard

offsite link Moveable Feast Cafe 2017/08/23 ? Open Thread Wed Aug 23, 2017 09:30 | Herb Swanson
2017/08/23 08:30:01Welcome to the ‘Moveable Feast Cafe’. The ‘Moveable Feast’ is an open thread where readers can post wide ranging observations, articles, rants, off topic and have animate discussions of

offsite link Social Media as a Tool of Hybrid Warfare; The Case of Syria Wed Aug 23, 2017 04:11 | The Saker
By Intibah Kadi August has been a month for exposing how the ?Empire? works at the social media level, inside the activist communities and, in this case, through the social

offsite link ISIS ? Always-Always Claims Responsibility Tue Aug 22, 2017 20:16 | The Saker
by Peter Koenig Whenever a terrorist attack hits somewhere in Europe or the world, wait a few hours and the police or media report ISIS / ISIL / Daesh claims

offsite link Syrian War Report ? August 22, 2017: ISIS Defense Rapidly Collapses In Central Syria Tue Aug 22, 2017 19:13 | Scott If you?re able, and if you like our content and approach, please support the project. Our work wouldn?t be possible without your help: PayPal:southfront@list.ruor via: via: Voiceover by Harold

offsite link Listening to the Donald, one very last time? Tue Aug 22, 2017 16:40 | The Saker
I just listened to Trump’s speech on Afghanistan: American heroes are unique and better than all others… 9/11 was planned in Afghanistan… together with the Saudis will will fight terrorism…

The Saker >>

Human Rights in Ireland

offsite link Ireland?s violation of International Abortion rights: A perpetual Dj vu. Sat Jul 29, 2017 18:49 | admin

offsite link Call for Papers: Irish Yearbook of International Law Thu Jul 20, 2017 10:54 | Fiona de Londras

offsite link Understanding the Increases in Direct Provision Allowance for Asylum Seekers Mon Jul 17, 2017 11:31 | Liam Thornton

offsite link Ireland?s Failing Abortion Law: Statutory Interpretation, Human Rights and the Detention of Pregnant... Tue Jun 13, 2017 17:08 | admin

offsite link RIA Conference on Human Rights and the Social Sciences, June 22nd. Thu Jun 01, 2017 16:59 | admin

Human Rights in Ireland >>

Sligo's Cancer Services & the Illusion of 'Democracy'

category national | rights, freedoms and repression | opinion/analysis author Friday June 03, 2011 13:08author by irg Sligeach - irgauthor email eirigisligeach at gmail dot com Report this post to the editors

Fine Gael & Labour politicians abandon yet more pre-election promises. This time in relation to the restoration of breast cancer services to Sligo General Hospital within 100 days of taking office.

100 Day Countdown
100 Day Countdown

In the run-up to the general election in the twenty six counties earlier this year, the usual rash of political promises were made by those hoping to be elected to Leinster House. In the Sligo/North Leitrim constituency, probably the one single issue that was to the fore in that campaign and indeed throughout the past couple of years, has been the removal of breast cancer services from Sligo General Hospital and the campaign to have it returned.

Despite massive public opposition, in 2009 Sligo's Breast Cancer Services were finally shut down and transferred to University College Hospital Galway (UCHG). The Health Service Executive (HSE) rationale was that UCHG was one of the eight new centres of excellence established by the government where those from the north-west requiring treatment would recieve superior treatment than Sligo could provide, despite Sligo's excellent record in cancer care.

The reality was totally different as campaigners and medical personnel had warned of in the run-in to the transfer of services. UCHG was already having difficulty as a result of government cutbacks in the health service coping with its present workload and patient care before they ever had to deal with the increased volume of cancer sufferers from the north west.

Since the move, government cutbacks have caused chaos at times for the medical staff trying to provide an essential service and for patients who have had to endure long waits, lying on trolleys, canceled appointments and delayed surgery. Indeed the numbers of patients, including cancer sufferers, forced to lie on trolleys at UCHG in 2010 reached an all-time high of 4,100. Those figures are set to be surpassed in 2011 as so far this year the numbers confined to trollies has been increasing steadily on last years record high. Most days the numbers effected are somewhere between 20 and 40 patients.

In April the HSE's own Healthstat survey confirmed UCHG as the state's worst hospital. So much for the hyped up 'centre of excellence'!

Just over a year ago (March 29 2010) the then Fine Gael spokesperson on Health, now Minister for Health, James Reilly made a firm commitment to return the services to Sligo, describing the transfer of Sligo's cancer services to Galway the previous year as not a balanced approach to cancer care.

Yet as recently as this week that very same James Reilly, now the Minister with responsibility for this issue, replying to a question in Leinster House as to fulfilling their 100 day pledge, the Minister refused to give any answer as to if and when the promised return of services would occur.

All the candidates bar the Green party's Johnny Gogan, expressed their support for the return of the cancer services to Sligo General Hospital if they were elected and their parties were in government. Specific promises were made, and recorded during live debates on Ocean FM radio and at a public meeting in the Clarion Hotel that was broadcast live on the internet (click on the link below to watch).

In particular, the Fine Gael candidates, Minister John Perry and Deputy Tony McLoughlin and the then Labour candidate and now Senator Susan O'Keefe made specific commitments that the cancer services would be returned within 100 days of them taking office. Not only did they give those commitments, they also promised to resign their seats if the pledges were not delivered as promised. Indeed Labour's commitment went even further, pledging not just to return breast cancer services to Sligo but to actually make Sligo General Hospital a ninth centre of excellence.

With just 15 days to go until that deadline expires, it is clear that this Fine Gael/Labour coalition have no intention of re-instating these services despite all their promises. Once again, people are being betrayed by those who claim to represent them and their interests.

A spokesperson for the Save our Cancer Services - North West told the Sligo Today website that the Ministers reply sounded as if Mary Harney herself wrote it.

In relation to the pre-election commitments the spokesperson added that we have strong clear commitments they (breast cancer services) will be restored and if this letter means otherwise than we are talking about an imminent letter of resignation from John Perry followed by a similar one from Tony McLoughlin.

That was the clear pre-election promise they both gave and this turn of events could not only turn out to be tragic for Sligo General Hospital and the provision of cancer care in this region but also for both these politicians. Their commitment was not just that services would be restored but that in the event that that did not materialise they would resign.

Yesterday (June 2) Minister Perry refused to say on local radio whether the services would be restored or not within the 100 days. In a live interview on Ocean FM's North West Today programme, Perry refused to give a straight answer to any question relating to the services. Unhappy with the issue of the pledge and his promise to resign being raised if the services were not returned, Perry hung up in the middle of the interview. (Click on the link below to listen to the interview)

While campaigners and the public in general throughout the north west will be extremely angry at this U-turn by both Fine Gael and Labour, they should not be surprised. Already, just three months into this coalition, there are a litany of election promises that have been binned now that they have secured power and have their backsides on Ministerial seats.

These broken promises show the true nature of our so-called democracy. It shows how relying on electing politicians every five years is to a large degree meaningless as we have no control over what they do, what decisions they make once there. Allowing us to occasionally put a mark beside a candidate on a ballot paper is designed not to enable change or allow people's participation in decisions effecting them, their communities or their country. No, it is designed to give people that illusion while the decision making processes remain firmly within the grip of the political and business classes that control this country.

Real democracy must be a continuous process of decision making relating to all aspects of society with those who are affected by those decisions controlling the decision-making process and must be based upon economic democracy. Power and influence are only ever wielded by those who control the wealth and wealth producing means in society. Therefore to have real democracy then it must be based upon the ownership and control of the means of production by the mass of working people. Without that ownership and control, meaningful change and a just truly democratic society is impossible.

To borrow a phrase from the title of former Mayor of London Ken Livingstone: If voting changed anything they would abolish it

Related Link:




author by Jayciepublication date Fri Jun 03, 2011 15:12Report this post to the editors

Heard Labours Susan O Keefe on oceanfm this morning trying to defend their U Turn. Absolute disgrace. She should honour her pledge to resign once the 100 days are up. She is no better than the FFers and FGers

© 2001-2017 Independent Media Centre Ireland. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by Independent Media Centre Ireland. Disclaimer | Privacy