Leading off on the Order of Business in the Seanad

 

Senator Mark Daly:  The Taoiseach has lost the trust of the people. In 2011 he stated that he wanted a sense of trust to be brought back to Irish politics. As can clearly be seen, he has failed the people in this regard. The process relating to the Seanad by-election was nothing other than cronyism of monumental proportions. There has also been a shocking failure regarding Irish Water. The former Minister of State who introduced the legislation to establish the company in this House has stated that it is “a disaster”. Irish Water also involves cronyism. Half the jobs relating to it are not, according to thejournal.ie, being advertised at all and most of them are being given to former public servants. Perhaps the Leader will arrange a debate on this matter, because I would like to discover why these jobs are not being advertised. Where is the transparency the Taoiseach both offered and promised in 2011?

As bad as the lack of transparency relating to Irish Water is, that in respect of the HSE is even worse. I refer to the manipulation of hospital waiting lists, something which is putting people’s lives at risk. Patients are being taken off those waiting lists and told to see private doctors, many of whom are not suited to treating the conditions with which people are presenting. This is being done in order that the HSE can manipulate the figures, and people’s lives are being put at risk as a result. In addition, surgeons are being told to perform operations on people they have neither seen nor consulted with. This is being done in the knowledge that these surgeons will not perform said operations and will put the patients involved back on the public hospital waiting list. As a result, the list is manipulated in such a way as to make it seem that there are far fewer people on it. What is being done here brings to mind the famous line about lies, damn lies and statistics, which is attributed to Disraeli. Obviously, all three of these things apply in the context of the HSE’s manipulation of the hospital waiting lists. Mark Twain once stated: “Facts are stubborn, but statistics are more pliable.” The Government does not like the facts, but it is fairly stubborn when it comes to manipulating statistics. I request that the Cathaoirleach allow the Leader to bring the Minister for Health before the House in order that we might discuss the memo relating to this matter. That memo is putting people’s lives at risk. Perhaps the Minister might bring with him a copy of the memo in which HSE officials were instructed to manipulate the waiting lists, putting people’s lives at risk. The person who issued the memo in question, who knew he was putting people’s lives at risk, should be fired.

In addition to manipulating hospital waiting lists, the Seanad by-election – quite disastrously, as it turns out – and Government Departments—–

 

An Cathaoirleach: Does the Senator have a question for the Leader?

 

Senator Mark Daly:  I request that the Leader organise a debate on the fact that the Taoiseach has made a mockery of his claim that he would bring democratic revolution to both this House and the country in general.

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