I don’t think anyone is fooled anymore by the antics of the 2 FF TD’s in Sligo. They’re wasting their breath spoofing the country. The local FF TD’s in Yeat’s own county have weaved their own spell in words, sounding concerned but doing precious little about it. Because of the centralistion of cancer care in Galway they’ve resigned the FF whip. The 2 TD’s studiously avoid the facts that the NW is the last regions to get breast check on their watch almost 10 years after it was rolled out elsewhere in the country. Where was the FF deputies concern then?
One who is known as a former Minster for State at the Department of Health and was recently sacked by the Taoiseach and the other not even a household name in his own household. The boys are obviously fed up with getting it on the neck from the local electorate about how the HSE is downgrading the local hospital and have opted for the politics of gesture not action. Lets get this straight, Deputy Devins, emphasises he’s still very much a member of Fianna Fail, he wants to only make an issue of local cancer care and doesn’t seem too put out by the other government cuts and to be fair to him he can’t as he voted for them all. So Special Needs Assistants, garda cutbacks, the cutbacks in REPS, social welfare cuts and waiting lists at the HSE everywhere else are something he’ll live with. Indeed even more, he’ll re-join FF in the future according to his interview with Philip Boucher Hayes. Are they going to bite the bullet and vote against FF in the Dail? Not now, not ever, unless a motion is put down to provide cancer services in Sligo.
So if both deputies are genuine in all that they hope to achieve and are confident that they have the people of Sligo behind them then should they not resign their seats and force by-elections, seeking a mandate in the area against the proposed cuts in cancer care and then go back to Brian Cowan with their hand strengthened? Anything less to my mind is self serving and cynical, as was the statement by one deputy that it wasn’t about his seat!
So what are the lessons for us in Wexford? Here we also have 2 FF deputies who’ve made known in the privacy of their parliamentary party meetings unfortunately in the absence of our Minister for Health, Mary Harney. So far their efforts have come to nought so I’ll let you conclude how effective any utterance is in FF. So when the special HSE group reconfiguring the south east hospital recommend the downgrading of A&E in Wexford General Hospital, what will Deputy John Browne (another Junior Minister sacked by Cowan) and Seán Connick do?
Both owe Cowen precious little. John Browne’s long cherished desire to serve in cabinet will go unfulfilled, Connick surely knows he’ll be around for an awful lot longer in political terms than Cowen and surely will note what FF TD’s did exactly 30 years ago when they felt that their seats were in danger during the last Jack Lynch government.
30 years ago FF backbenchers stuck it into the leadership, the question is now have they the bottle now to fight for their communities or not? I wonder did WB Yeats have Fianna Fail in mind when he wrote “I balanced all, brought all to mind, The years to come seemed a waste of breath, A waste of breath the years behind, In balance with this life”?