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FF leader calls for James Reilly's resignation because of a 'pack of lies'

Micheál Martin has said he believes the Health Minister’s position is now untenable in the wake of further revelations about primary care centre locations.

Image: Photocall Ireland

THE FIANNA FÁIL leader Micheál Martin has called for the resignation of the Health Minister James Reilly, stating that we have been “sold a tissue of lies” by the Minister, the Taoiseach and the Tánaiste.

Martin has said that he believes Reilly’s position is untenable after more information about the selection of locations for primary care centres in the Health Minister’s constituency of Dublin North emerged in an Irish Times report today.

The Irish Times report by Martin Wall and Paul Cullen details how two locations were added to the priority list the evening before the announcement by the government, despite the fact that they had not been recommended by the then-Minster of State for Primary Care Róisín Shortall.

Speaking to reporters at Fianna Fáil’s National Policy Conference at the Red Cown Moran hotel earlier Micheál Martin said:

We were led to believe that there was some criteria behind the selection of of these primary care sites that differed to Róisín Shortall’s and the HSE’s criteria – we now learn that there wasn’t the case at all and that this was an 11th hour decision on a political basis to change Róisín Shortall’s list and to put out a list that met James Reilly’s own political considerations – and also maybe others across the Cabinet table in terms of Kilkenny.

The Fianna Fáil leader was referring to further last minute changes to the list which saw locations in Kilkenny and Roscommon added.

Martin said that there was an attempt to hide the truth about the criteria behind the selection of locations and that “we were told a pack of lies on this and I’m angry about that”.

Róisín Shortall resigned as junior minister in September following a dispute with James Reilly about primary care locations. She also said that he had blocked many of the health reform initiatives she had worked on.

Speaking to RTÉ Radio One earlier today Shortall again said that the Health Minister was engaging in ‘stroke politics’ and dismissed his given reasons for making the last minute changes to the priority list.

Previously: Reilly insists her had ‘no hand, act or part’ in choice of Balbriggan site>

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Emer McLysaght

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