Kenny accuses Opposition of Reilly 'witch hunt' as Reilly defends 'hands-on' approach

The Taoiseach has accused opposition parties of engaging in a witch hunt of health minister James Reilly after the fast-tracking of hospital projects in the constituencies of two his ministerial colleagues.

The Wexford General Hospital and Kilkenny building projects were announced by ministers Brendan Howlin and Phil Hogan before the HSE had formally approved the projects.

Sinn Féin has accused the Government of using the hospital budget as a political slush fund for its own electoral purposes.

The Taoiseach said today that opposition parties were engaged in a witch hunt Minister Reilly, and should focus on the outcome of the issue.

He defended the Wexford and Kilkenny projects, saying the Wexford facility was operating from a converted pharmacy while Kilkenny's A and E was operating from a Portakabin.

He said he "understood the politics" of what he called the "persistent witch hunt of Minister Reilly" and other ministers, but said: "It's about time that, instead of having more reports and proposals sitting on shelves with nothing happening, we moved to putting blocks of concrete and facilities in place for the taxpayer."

Meanwhile, Minister Reilly said he made no apologies for taking a "hands-on approach" to dealing with problems in the health service.

He said the two hospitals which were upgraded were in need of improvement.

"Both of these facilities have been on the list for a long- long time," he said.

More in this Section

Review of social media use at Maynooth seminary ordered by Bishops

Major search resumes for man missing off Donegal coast

Man to appear in Dublin court in connection with drug and gun seizure

Government may increase property tax by 600% if USC is scrapped


Today's Stories

Irish boxing could have done more to keep me, says Billy Walsh

Flight crew praised for handling of mid-air emergency and safe landing at Cork Airport

Campaigners call for end to direct provision after young mother dies at Cork centre

Pat Hickey's family hasn’t visited him in jail

Lifestyle

Food for thought on cutting costs of back-to-school

The cost of education can often catch people out

Woody Allen is enjoying his golden years

Social media giant faces up to gaming

More From The Irish Examiner