“For many years we have had promises and false dawns. The only promise you made was to work hard for this hospital and the people of the area” – Úna O’Neill, spokesperson for the Friends of Kenmare Hospital Action Group.
The new Kenmare Hospital celebrated its one year anniversary after its official opening in May 2014, but the government still needs to provide more funding to ensure a full range of healthcare services is available there. I was disappointed to see a politician, long on promises and short on delivery on this issue, trying again to claim credit for the successes of the long campaign by the Kenmare Hospital Action Group to build the new hospital. In the numerous attempts to ensure that the new hospital went ahead, I was delighted to play my part in securing the legally binding agreement that guaranteed this, despite years of promises by others. My efforts were publically acknowledged by the chair of the Kenmare Hospital Action Group when she stated in a letter that my negotiating of the agreement in 2010 between the HSE and the contractor was essential in ensuring the allocation of funding for the development, despite budget cuts: “Without Senator Daly’s relentless work this new hospital would not have been built for our community.”
After nearly 40 years of campaigning, Kenmare finally saw the start of construction of a new 40 bed Hospital, with the turning of the Sod by the Minister for Health on the 3rd of February, 2012.
PRESS RELEASE, 3RD FEBRUARY 2012
Prior to the budget in December 2010, Senator Mark Daly looked for ways to ensure the HSE would be legally tied into proceeding with new 40 bed hospital in Kenmare.
He sought a Letter of Acceptance from the Health Service Executive. This was issued on the 3rd of December 2010. The Letter of Acceptance, when read in conjunction with the Tender Document ensured that the legally obliged to proceed with the Hospital. On this basis, despite the cut back the HSE, the construction of the new hospital was secured.
The Kenmare Hospital Action Group has warmly welcomed the commencement today, 3rd of February 2012 of construction of the new local community hospital. The Minister for Health James Reilly was in Kenmare at lunchtime to turn the sod on the new €8 million 40-bed development. Úna Clinton O’Neill, spokesperson for the Kenmare Hospital Action Group said this week that they were delighted that their 34-year campaign had come to fruition.
“To Senator Mark Daly, sincere thanks. His relentless efforts were critical to the success of this project by securing a legally-binding agreement between the HSE and the contractor prior to last year’s budget. This was essential in ensuring the allocation of funding for the development, despite budget cuts and has allowed the hospital to go ahead.”
“There was genuine fear over the last few months that the project would be delayed once again and worse still, that the existing hospital was under threat of closure. However, with Glenbeigh Construction now on site, we are satisfied that on this occasion, the new 40-bed hospital will be built for our community”, Úna Clinton O’Neill said.
The Hospital Action Group spokesperson thanked all those who had played their part over the years in securing the new hospital. “A sincere word of thanks must go to the hard working members of the committee, in particular Michael Harrington and Richard Doran, who were part of the original group in 1976. Many others involved over this long campaign include Mary Fitzgerald, Maeve O’Sullivan, Mairead Doyle, local doctors, medical staff and many more. We would like to take this opportunity to praise the officials in the HSE and the Department of Health who were part of bringing this project to fruition,” she said. Úna Clinton O’Neill also thanked the part played by local public representatives in securing the future of the hospital for Kenmare.
Thanks also to former TD, Breeda Moynihan Cronin, for her assistance to us and the project over the years,” she said. “Thank you, finally, to the local community.” Their faith and support in this campaign over the last 34 years has encouraged us to continue, and has resulted in a new hospital facility for Kenmare.”
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