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Friday 8 December 2023 Dublin: 9°C
Pa Images If only Thatcher could hear the compliment she was paid today.
bit late

Gerry Adams paid Margaret Thatcher a rare compliment today

He said she ‘told it as it was’.

SINN FÉIN LEADER Gerry Adams said today that Margaret Thatcher “told it as it was” as he accused Taoiseach Enda Kenny of using ‘sleeveen words’.

In a Leaders’ Questions this afternoon that was dominated by the health service, Adams accused Fine Gael of secretly wanting to privatise the health system.

“Why have you refused to develop a universal health system for all?,” Adams asked the Taoiseach.

“One based on health needs at the point of delivery and paid for through progressive taxation.”

We’re on the cusp of an election, would you not be better? Whatever we can say about Margaret Thatcher, she told it as it was.Would you not be better facing into this election to tell the people that you want to privatise our health service? Tell people that. As opposed to all the sleeveen and weasel words you use in the promises that you make.

The Taoiseach took particular exception to the charge that his government wants to privatise the health system, accusing Adams of not using the Irish health service himself.

“I think the term ‘weasel words’ comes from a different vocabulary, a different time,” the Taoiseach said. ”Maybe you’re more used to using them yourself as somebody who doesn’t use the health service here. ”

Let me reject categorically your statement that you made twice this morning, that it’s the intention of government to privatise the health service.What the government are clear about is that there should be an end to an unfair two-tier system and that there should be a single-tier system where people can have access to medical care and attention as close to them as possible and based on their medical needs.

The Taoiseach added that the government has been “up front” about not being able to introduce a system of Universal Health Insurance as they’d hoped.

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin also accused the Taoiseach of not being honest in his assessment of the health service.

He said that the government is aware of a €100 million shortfall in hospital funding and they are being  ’fraudulent and false’ in not acknowledging this.

Read: Fianna Fáil’s new ad lashes Enda Kenny’s infamous promise >

Read: This is Enda Kenny’s biggest regret >

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