Connacht Tribune - Opinion Piece
Kenny hits out at the 'whingers' who don't have the answersJune 13, 2012 - 3:08pm
Becoming Taoiseach is no honour to your community unless you deliver is the apparent stance of the opposition in Castlebar to Enda Kenny as he leads the country through its greatest economic crisis in the history of the State.
Inevitably, comparisons are being drawn with Padraig Flynn’s delivery to the town while minister for the Environment, and although the Taoiseach is no more than fifteen months in office the moans from the opposition grow louder for largesse on a similar scale.
Last week the Taoiseach’s influence was clearly obvious in the announcement of a proposed National Outdoor Pursuits Academy and swimming pool in Castlebar, an obvious inference to be drawn in view of Kenny’s interest in outdoor activity.
But the announcement did not end demands for more work opportunities. For months some members of the local town council have been voicing concerns about unemployment, declining health services and a lack of investment generally in infrastructure in the area.
But the Taoiseach hit back at his critics, accusing them of whingeing.
Speaking at a press conference in connection with the proposed National Outdoor Pursuits Centre to be built at a cost of €12.5 million, Mr Kenny said he had no interest in that kind of criticism.
“The job that I undertook last year was to sort out our public finances and give our country back to our people.
“We’re spending €15 billion more that we’re taking in. Do these people expect that someone is going to walk in from abroad and pay our cheque for us?
He said the only ones who could do that were ourselves “and that means that we have to make difficult decisions in order to sort that out.
“So I take no notice and have no interest in whingeing criticism that comes from some quarters.
One issue which has generated the heaviest criticism of the Taoiseach was the downgrading of the Sacred Heart Hospital in the town by the HSE.
Said the Taoiseach: “The many staff who worked there over the years gave of their best. But times have changed. The Fair Deal initiative has brought in a whole new era for patient care. Patients themselves decide that they don’t want to go to institutions like this anymore, and they choose to go to private nursing homes where they may feel they have more appropriate facilities for their needs.”
For more, read this week's Connacht Tribune.