ARRIVING FOR THE first Cabinet meeting after the summer holidays, Taoiseach Enda Kenny told reporters that “silly season is over” and the Government is ready to get down to “real work”.
“The Government has a really packed agenda of very difficult decision and choices to make and challenging times up ahead,” said Kenny.
Both Kenny and Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore said the Cabinet has a number of important issues to prepare for, including the roll out its “really strong” reform programme, the European Presidency, the most challenging Budget of the Government’s time in office thus far and the Children’s Referendum.
“Let me repeat again, the silly season is now over and Government gets down to real work,” added Kenny. “Making decisions in respect of sorting out our country’s finances, making decisions that will make it more competitive for us to attract inward investment and the creation of jobs and making sure that we are in a position to deliver services for those that need them.”
Gilmore said that today’s meeting would set out a framework for the next few months.
Asked about Fianna Fáil’s intention to table a motion of confidence in the Minister for Health, Gilmore said he had “no doubt” that James Reilly would ensure the needs of Irish people are met.
He added that Fianna Fáil has a “hard neck to tell anybody about health.”
“They left this country in a horrific mess. In particular their handling of the health service was appalling. What Fianna Fáil has to say about the health service is just a pure act of hypocrisy.”
Health spokesperson for Fianna Fáil Billy Kelleher has continued the war of words with the coalition, releasing a statement attacking the Tánaiste for resorting to “his favourite party trick of kicking Fianna Fáil instead of addressing the real concerns”.
“The Tánaiste’s comments today will provide absolutely no comfort to the thousands of high dependency patients who will have their homecare supports cut as a result of this Government’s decisions,” he said.