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Róisín Shortall: I'm surprised the 'very inexperienced' James Reilly wasn't sacked

The former junior health minister also says she could have worked with new minister Leo Varadkar.

Source: Video TheJournal.ie/YouTube

Video and editing: Michelle Hennessy 

RÓISÍN SHORTALL, THE former junior health minister, has said she was surprised James Reilly was not sacked from government in the Cabinet reshuffle last month.

Shortall, who resigned from government nearly two years ago over differences with the former health minister, also said she thinks she could have worked with the new Health Minister Leo Varadkar, describing him as an “able politician” and a “straight talker”.

The former Labour TD described Reilly as “a very inexperienced politician” and described his now deferred plan to abolish the HSE next year as “crackpot” during the course of wide-ranging interview with TheJournal.ie earlier today.

Shortall left government in September 2012 after differences with Reilly over the allocation of primary care centres in his own constituency. She said today she hasn’t said a word to Reilly since the night before she resigned.

On Varadkar’s prospects, Shortall said he had made a good start in Health having “inherited a department that has very serious problems”.

She said she hopes he succeeds, adding: “Health is a difficult area, there’s no doubt about that, but at the same time it’s not impossible. I sometimes object to this portrayal of the department as Angola.

“Every other European country can have a properly functioning health service, there’s no reason why we can’t. It’s something that the public deserve, it’s a matter of going in there and putting the patient first.”

Watch out for more from our in-depth interview with Róisín Shortall tomorrow. She ells us what she really thinks of Joan Burton and whether or not she’ll be joining a new party. 

Read: Here’s why Leo Varadkar is looking to avoid ‘land mines in Angola’

Read: Leo tells health lobby: Stop attacking me and weakening me

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About the author:

Hugh O'Connell

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