Press Statement from Frank Feighan TD
September 27th 2014
I understand that people are angry and upset at the way the A & E in Roscommon was downgraded.
I have always supported people’s democratic right to peaceful protest.
However, I believe protests regarding Roscommon Hospital have become far too aggressive.
In the last number of years, my staff and I have been subjected to a torrent of physical, verbal and social media abuse while carrying out our duties as best we can.
Today, I had a meeting in Roscommon Hospital with Minister for Health, Leo Varadkar and a number of stakeholders.
We were briefed that more people today are employed at Roscommon Hospital than in 2011 and once a €20million capital investment programme is completed, the hospital will be physically twice as big and seven times busier.
Most importantly, consultants at the hospital have confirmed on the public record that patients in County Roscommon and further afield are now much safer, helped significantly by the introduction of the air ambulance service. As a result, scores of lives are being saved.
Yesterday, Fine Gael members, families and their children had come to Roscommon Town to meet Taoiseach Enda Kenny. Assessing the situation when he arrived, I formed the opinion that the Taoiseach was going to be confronted in an aggressive and physical manner.
In hindsight, I misread the situation and overreacted in a tense situation.
As a Fine Gael TD and a member of the Government, the public expects the highest standards.
I regret if any actions of mine caused hurt to anybody especially the Hospital Action Committee candidate and former Roscommon senior county goalkeeper, John McDermott.