Council wants Minister to visit Shaen

PORTLAOISE Town Councillors are disappointed that the Minister for Health, Dr James Reilly, has still refused to accept an invite to visit Shaen Hospital which is due to be closed as part of Government cuts.

PORTLAOISE Town Councillors are disappointed that the Minister for Health, Dr James Reilly, has still refused to accept an invite to visit Shaen Hospital which is due to be closed as part of Government cuts.

At last week’s monthly meeting of the council, Cllr Willie Aird said it was four months since the suggestion was made to Minister Reilly to view the facilities at Shaen.

“I’m expressing my severe disappointment with the Minister,” Cllr Aird said. “I’m asking him to visit Shaen Hospital and take on board the good work being done there. The work they’re doing out there is above and beyond.”

Cllr Kathleen O’Brien also voiced her disappointment at being “put on the long finger”.

“I don’t know how he can make a decision without seeing it,” she said. “It’s very important we keep the hospital open, it’s an excellent facility.”

Cllr Alan Hand said it was a political decision to close the hospital and Minister Reilly is the key to solving the problem.

“You can’t adopt a one-size-fits-all approach,” he said. Cllr Hand went on to remind the meeting that the vintage rally in June is being organised to raise funds for the hospital and he encouraged everyone to support it.

Town clerk, John Clarke said that the council had received an acknowledgment letter confirming the matter would be brought to the Minister’s attention.