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Thursday 7 December 2023 Dublin: 9°C

Remember this famous Fine Gael ad from 2007?

Micheál Martin raised this eight-year-old campaign ad in the Dáil today.

endahealth07 Irish Election Literature Irish Election Literature

AN EIGHT-YEAR-OLD Fine Gael election ad was raised in the Dáil today as Micheál Martin lashed the coalition and Health Minister Leo Varadkar over the health crisis.

The Fianna Fáil leader mistakenly referred to the above leaflet, where Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny pledged to end the “scandal of patients on trollies”, as being from the last general election campaign.

In fact, it was a 2007 general election campaign ad where Kenny and Fine Gael promised all of this if elected to government:

endahealth07-2 Irish Election Literature Irish Election Literature

(They weren’t in the end as Bertie Ahern’s Fianna Fáil secured a third term)

Raising the leaflet at Leaders’ Questions today, Martin, a former health minister, said that the hospital trolley crisis had gotten worse in recent months. Latest figures show that 385 patients were waiting on trolleys across the country yesterday.

Martin said leaked emails from Leo Varadkar demonstrated the “appalling cynicism” from the government in relation to the management of the health service.

Kenny said he did not accept this and claimed that there has been a budget overrun in the health service for the last 30 years.


Of Varadkar’s email, warning that “heads will have to roll” over the ongoing crisis, Kenny said:

It’s a warning from the Minister for Health, where he’s not content to have a situation where year-after-year you have a budget agreed and year-after-year it’s never met.

But Martin said accountability should be with ministers, not civil servants, and got progressively angrier during his response.

He said the “deliberate falsifying of the health budget” and the €680 million overrun last year demonstrated “the dishonesty at the heart of your government’s approach to health”.

The opposition leader said that when all else fails the government was looking to save its own “political hide” by “doing a Martin Callinan on it” and sacking a civil servant – a reference to the controversial circumstances surrounding the departure of the Garda Commissioner last year.

Kenny hit back saying Martin was “the champion of false anger”, was “foundering in desperation” and had “no vision for where his party should be, and where his country should be”.

Then, he concluded with this:

Read: “People will make their own choice” – Taoiseach says spending promises are not electioneering

Read: Enda wants to bet Ivan Yates about the date of the election

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