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Halligan urges Fianna Fáil to call election after his mobile cath lab deal criticised

Halligan threatened to leave the minority government last year after an independent clinical review found a second lab was not justified.

Image: Leon Farrell via RollingNews,ie

WATERFORD TD JOHN Halligan has challenged Fianna Fáil to call an election over the issue of a second cath lab for Waterford Hospital.

It comes after the Minister of State said he reached a deal last week for a mobile cath lab to be provided for limited hours.

Following criticism from opposition parties who said it didn’t go far enough, Halligan challenged Fianna Fáil to put down a motion of no confidence.

Speaking in the Dáil, Halligan said calling on election would prove the party’s commitment:

If you really are sincere, you hold a majority in this government, not the Independent Alliance – you put down a motion of no confidence in the government if they don’t bring forward a second cath lab. That will do it.

“I’m sure if a motion of no confidence in the government came from Fianna Fáil on the necessity of a second cath lab in Waterford, it would be supported by Sinn Féin and many other Independents and that would be the end of it.”

Fianna Fáil TD Mary Butler accused the Minister of State of “passing the buck”.

‘No intention of cath lab’

Meanwhile, Sinn Féin TD for Waterford, David Cullinane, says the government confirmed to him that it has no intention of providing a dedicated mobile cath lab for University Hospital Waterford

Last week I asked Minister Harris his plans for a mobile cath lab for University Hospital Waterford. He confirmed late last night in an email received by my office that the unit is part of a national crisis response which will include, quote, ‘the deployment of a mobile Cath lab for specific periods in specific locations’.

“He makes no mention of Waterford and certainly no mention of a dedicated mobile unit for the South East.”

Halligan has previously stated that the cath lab, which specialises in examining the heart, was promised to him by ministers during government formation talks.

He threatened to leave the minority government last year after an independent clinical review found a second lab was not justified.

Speaking in the Dáil, he added, “I am convinced that fairness will prevail in the end and a second cath lab will be delivered.

“Do I think that the mobile cath lab is ideal? I do not, but it is a small step forward. That is all I am saying. I am not saying it is the answer. I agree with everybody that we need and deserve a second cath lab.”

Read: John Halligan says he’s secured a mobile cath lab for Waterford hospital>

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