Kenny sympathises with babies’ parents

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has conveyed his sympathy to the parents whose babies died at a maternity unit in the midlands regional hospital in Portlaoise.

Kenny sympathises with babies’ parents

Mr Kenny said that no family should have to fight for truth in Ireland’s health system and that no family suffering such grief and trauma should ever have their concerns ignored.

His comments came after a report yesterday found that maternity services at Portlaoise hospital were not safe and that poor outcomes that could have been prevented “were not acted upon”.

Mr Kenny said that the recommendations from the report would be implemented.

“It will help to ensure that this can never happen again. It should never have happened at all.

“It will ensure that Ireland will continue to be recognised as one of the safest countries in the world in which to give birth.

“I want to convey my deepest sympathy to the families who lost their babies.

“It is through the resolve of the Molloy, Molyneaux, McCarthy, and Keyes families that this change is happening,” he said.

He said that his party was committed to reforms in health and attacked the way patients were dealt with in the boom years.

“Tens of thousands of our men and women and children joined what became a national ritual in the Tiger years. They waited on lists. They waited on chairs. They waited on trolleys. Some died in car parks.”

He said that in 2011 there were 6,235 patients waiting over eight months for inpatient and daycase procedures. By the end of 2013 there were 68 waiting, he said.

Speaking at the opening of the Fine Gael Árd Fheis at the RDS in Dublin, Enda Kenny said his party had selected 449 candidates, 98 of whom were women for the local elections.

A vote for a Fine Gael candidate was also “a vote for low local taxes”, he claimed.

The Árd Fheis is expected to be attended by 2,000 people today and delegates will debate justice, local government, farming and education among other areas.

Mr Kenny will also deliver the key speech this evening.

Elsewhere last night, former European Affairs Minister Lucinda Creighton hit out at her former parliamentary party’s policies.

Away from the RDS while giving a speech at the Law Society in Dublin, she was critical of the whip system operating in Irish political parties.

Ms Creighton was expelled from the Fine Gael parliamentary party for opposing the Coalition’s abortion legislation last year.

She said last night that under the current whip system in the Dáil loyalty was rewarded and dissent punished.

“Inconvenient questions and independence of thought are not welcome in our parliament,” she said.

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