Prendergast breaks ranks and calls on Health minister to resign

MEP Phil Prendergast has defied party appeals for unity by calling for the resignation of Minister for Health James Reilly.

MEP Phil Prendergast has defied party appeals for unity by calling for the resignation of Minister for Health James Reilly.

The Clonmel based MEP joined Labour party colleague Nessa Childers in a two pronged attack on Minister Reilly the day before a controversial email went out to Labour party elected representatives asking them not to level criticism at the beleaguered Health minister.

MEP Prendergast said she would make the call again and did not regret coming out to call for Reilly’s resignation and support party colleague Roisin Shortall.

The frustration within the party was publicly voiced by both MEPs who hit out at the way Minister Reilly handled the whole primary care issue.

Ms Prendergast, a former nurse, said she had no confidence in Minister Reilly and he should consider his position.

She said that the revelation regarding the ownership of the proposed site for the primary care centre in Balbriggan, Co Dublin renders Minister Reilly’s position untenable.

“As a nurse and midwife for 20 years, and as a Labour party public representative, I have no confidence in Reilly and I think he should consider his position,” she said - one of the few Labour party politicians to publicly condemn Minister Reilly.

“His actions in not releasing details of the criteria applied in the addition of extra primary care centres to the list created by the HSE, and his subsequent treatment of his junior ministerial colleague in the department, are undermining confidence in the government’s promise to reform healthcare,” she insisted.

“The revelation regarding the ownership of the site of one of the primary care centres that was added to a list created by the HSE by Minister Reilly smells of the old “you scratch my back” politics which brought this country to the brink of ruin.” she said.

She said that for years the people of Ireland had to listen to Minister after Minister in the Fianna Fail ranks engage in blatant stroke politics and brazen out their actions in the Dail.

“We thought those days were over. Things have to change”.