Junior Minister John Halligan threatens to resign over proposed hospital closures

Junior Minister John Halligan threatens to resign over proposed hospital closures

Independent Alliance sources are dismissing claims the Government may collapse if junior minister John Halligan walks over a refusal to upgrade Waterford cardiac services writes Irish Examiner Political Correspondent Juno McEnroe.

A series of recent clashes between Waterford TD John Halligan and the Fine Gael side of the Government have now come to a head.

It has been reported this morning that Mr Halligan is ready to jump ship from the minority government if his demands to upgrade health services at Waterford are not met.

But the Irish Examiner has spoken to sources within the Independent Alliance who are shying away from supporting alliance colleague Mr Halligan.

“This is not a hanging issue. But there’s also money on the table for Waterford, why would he walk away?” said one source.

There are leaks emerging of a HSE report into requests for cardiac services to be upgraded for the county.

It is understood the HSE report though questions services at the hospital instead of making the case for a second catherisation laboratory, as demanded by Mr Halligan.

Health Minister Simon Harris has said it is up to the health professionals to make decisions about services, not politicians.

But the threat by Mr Halligan to leave government could leave the minority administration on shaky ground if its total numbers of TDs are reduced.

Further talks between alliance members and Fine Gael ministers are now expected during the afternoon.


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