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"I think it's a bit rich of Mícheál Martin"- James Reilly resists calls to resign

Reilly has come under increased pressure about spending and savings figures within the Department of Health.

Image: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

HEALTH MINISTER JAMES Reilly says that he has absolutely no intention of resigning from his position following a call for him to do so by opposition leader Mícheál Martin.

Speaking yesterday, Martin said that Reilly was incapable of answering “even basic questions” about his department and needed to consider his position.

Reilly has come under increased pressure about spending and savings figures within the Department of Health. He has faced specific questions about an admission he made in an Oireachtas Committee that his department’s savings figure on medical cards of €113 million came from a cabinet request.

In his speech yesterday, the Fianna Fáil leader also questioned how the Department of Health came up with the figures around free GP care for children under five.

Responding to the criticism today however, Reilly said that, as a former health minister, Martin has no credibility in calling for a resignation:

I’ve no intention of resigning and I think it’s a bit rich of Mícheál Martin. The architect of the HSE, the man who had more money that at any other time in the history of the state and made a complete mess of the health service and who then presided at 716 weeks sitting at cabinet with Bertie Ahern and Brian Cowen its really a bit of tongue and cheek coming from him.

Read: Nursing union warns patient care will be “severely compromised” by Budget cuts >

Read: I have absolute confidence in Minister Reilly’s ability – Hayes >

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Rónán Duffy

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