[Sinn Fein]

22nd January 2002

Ó Caoláin supports Monaghan Hospital protest during Minister Martin's visit

Cavan/Monaghan TD Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin is today joining a public protest at Monaghan General Hospital to co-incide with the visit of the Minister for Health and Children Mícheál Martin. The Sinn Fein TD said:

``The people of County Monaghan have repeatedly called upon the Minister to halt the ongoing process whereby services are being eroded at Monaghan General Hospital. Our Maternity Unit is gone and now the current and promised Accident and Emergency services are under threat. This is totally unacceptable. The Minister must commit himself to the restoration of services and further development of Monaghan General Hospital. I will be making this point strongly to the Minister when I meet him.

``The Minister's much-vaunted and long overdue health strategy has no real meaning for the people of County Monaghan who have seen services which were maintained in the worst of times being taken away in better economic times. It is time for Minister Martin to recognise the real needs of real people.''

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