John Halligan should seize opportunity offered

WITH the Belfast consultant who carried out the independent clinical review into cardiac care at University Hospital Waterford resolutely defending his findings, it has to be said that he is making a lot of sense.

If his conclusions were taken at face value by junior minister John Halligan, who based his political career on campaigning to upgrade the facility, but has also talked about bringing down the minority government, the local TD would find it hard to gainsay Dr Niall Herity’s argument that building a second specialised laboratory on the site is not justified.

Denying allegations of a conflict of interest, the consultant has also rejected attempts to undermine his methodology, insisting his findings were based on work carried out in an objective, dispassionate and independent manner.

And while not agreeing with the concept of providing a second laboratory, he has put the spotlight on deficiencies in the capacity of the existing facility and recommended measures to address that shortfall, including a 20% expansion of the current lab.

Rather than seeing this report as a cause of bringing down the Government, Deputy Halligan should seize it as a way out of the bind he now finds himself in, a means of improving its chances of not alone surviving but possibly expanding its coronary service in the South-East region without having the long shadows of Cork University Hospital or of St James’s in Dublin constantly hanging over its future.


Lacemakers in Limerick want to preserve their unique craft for future generations and hope to gain UNESCO heritage status, writes Ellie O’Byrne.Made in Munster: Lace-making a labour of love rather than laborious industry

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