“It is unacceptable for the Minister and his Department to suggest…”

Possibly related to the point Mick was making…  The former leader of Sinn Féin in the Dáil, Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin, TD, has taken exception to part of a statement by Irish Health Minister, James Reilly, TD, committing the Irish Government to work in partnership with their Northern Ireland counterparts on the development of a new radiotherapy unit at Altnagelvin

Although, the same lines were first delivered by Labour TD, Kathleen Lynch, on the Minister’s behalf, in the Dáil on 24th March without much ado…

ANYhoo… here’s the offending paragraph

The Irish Government will work in partnership with our Northern Ireland counterparts on the development of this new facility. It is estimated that Irish patients will comprise roughly one third of the number of patients who will attend the new centre for radiotherapy services and therefore our contribution will equate to approximately one third of the full cost of the radiotherapy facilities.

And Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin’s objection?

“I note that in his reply Minister Reilly states that ‘Irish patients will comprise roughly one third of the number of patients who will attend the new centre’ at Altnagelvin. By this I presume he means patients who live in this jurisdiction. It is unacceptable for the Minister and his Department to suggest that those living in the Six Counties are not Irish.”

Oh dear…

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  • ranger1640

    Sinn Fein clam to be a grown up party, and have the check to tell Unionist to stop living in the past.

    FFS Sinn Fein, grow up and stop gurning. Instead of continually gurning about yours and others perceived irishness, start really delivering for the people you say you represent.
    Sinn Fein Embarrassed by Nothing Offended by Everything.

  • Cynic2

    Is it illegal in the Dail to tell him he’s an arse?

  • ulsterscotnua

    I think that Sinn Fein is perfectly correct to point this out to Mr. Reilly as it is bad enough for Republican/ Nationalist people to be treated as second class citizens by DUP and UUP members in the Assembly without Ministries in the Dial doing the same, accidently or not.

  • Cross border co-operation should be as common as ‘north-south’ co-operation in England.

    It is only the beliefs of Unionists which prevent Ireland from operating as a single, efficient, whole.

    It’s therefore right for Ó Caoláin’ to remind the minister that all users of the facility will be Irish, creating a distinction would only be to legitamise the illogical partition that exists.

  • The Word

    A good point from Caoimhghin, the least Irish person on the island of Ireland!

  • George

    And Sinn Féin tightens its grip on those border Dáil seats it keeps collecting just a little bit more.

    Martin’s little “coming down here” faux pas was a boon to Adams’ campaign pre-election and it seems the new government is intent on continue the largesse.

    Ó Caoláin is playing very successfully to a particular gallery with this remark.

  • joeCanuck

    What’s the Irish word for nitpicking?

  • Republic of Connaught

    Presumably he meant Irish people from the Irish state, not Irish people from the British controlled six county state?

    Caoimhghín is perhaps a little annoyed Gerry Adams has taken his speaking role in the Dail and has to let out some anger at someone.

  • Cynic2

    “It’s therefore right for Ó Caoláin’ to remind the minister that all users of the facility will be Irish, creating a distinction would only be to legitamise the illogical partition that exists.”

    … it would of course be illegal under UNCHR and ECHR for the Minister to try to forcibly label as such those who dont consider themselves Irish. As his party spent so many years trying to murder them into a Republic the SF TD probably doesn’t really care about that but I am sure he wouldn’t want votes to consider SF as a racist Party that would abuse the human rights of people.

  • redhugh78

    On a day when a sitting SDLP councillor and former MLA resigns from the SDLP and declares his intention to run in the assembly/council elections as an independent and as well as that, another sitting councillor and former MLA being convicted for the second time on a drink drive charge are deemed so far by Slugger to be of no significance it seems.
    Now had these individuals been from SF than we could expect the usual multitude of posts from the usual sources, but sure there’s no agendas on Slugger is there?

  • The Word

    “Ó Caoláin is playing very successfully to a particular gallery with this remark.”

    Sure, yes, we’ll all betray the unionists by asking them to believe the truth from one of the very people who betrayed them initially. I don’t think so, somehow. There will be no betrayals.

  • iluvni

    Just asking like, but with all these potential cross-border patients, if there’s any claims for negligence, will the costs be divied up between NI and the Republic too?

  • alan56

    Quite likely, I would have thought, that many users of the new facility will not be Irish….or British for that matter

  • Chris Donnelly

    Entirely appropriate point made by O’Caolain, and one I’m sure that Fianna Fail politicians will be forced to take account of when/ if they get around to organising in the north.

  • Rory Carr

    Ó Caoláin was perfectly correct in drawing attention to O’Reilly’s bloomer. In previous days any FG minister would have expected a roasting from FF deputies for such a howler. But it is Red Hugh 78 who makes the most pertinent point that it is a bit out of proportion to be making hay with this little nonsense on a day when we have news of UUP former Assembly member and sitting councillor, Derek Hussey, convicted for the second time of driving while drunk and when a “sitting SDLP councillor and former MLA resigns from the SDLP and declares his intention to run in the assembly/council elections as an independent ” (PJ Bradley, I presume) which news, especially in light of the attempted analysis of the South Down constituency in another thread might be deemed to be of more import.

  • The Word

    CD

    ” one I’m sure that Fianna Fail politicians will be forced to take account of when/ if they get around to organising in the north.”

    FF knows what happens to them when they send out signals about “organising in the North”, especially anywhere near Derry.

  • Mick Fealty

    Rory/Red,

    Red’s point is way off topic, and exactly the kind of behaviour I’m starting to clamp down on. The comment zone is for on topic contributions, not back seat driving.

    That said, I have no doubt we’ll cover the McMenamin story when we have something to say about it. It’s clearly an important political story given the SDLP’s problems there in the past (all contributions treated confidentially on editor@sluggerotoole.com).

    As for Hussey, if you think we have space for every politician’s peccadillo, think again. A retired MLA, nope. Health Minister driving the wrong way up a motorway whilst pissed at the wheel, yep.

    Now, back to topic, or I’ll ping you both!

  • Kadfoomsa

    Republican chanlenges Free Stater – Shocka!

    Dáil Deputies and Sinn Féin junkies were SHOCKED today as ‘Sinn Féin’ TD Queeveen O’Quaylayne refused to accept Free Stater ideology.

    Partionists were SHOCKED as O’Quaylayne claimed that people living north of the sacred Irish border, which every sane person knows always existed were IRISH!!!!!!!!

    Fine Gael Deputy Arthur O Lenyegorm told Slugger, “I fainted wit da shack, in all my years a’ palitics I never did here da like of it.”

    “Can’t they move on? I mean they got the Good Friday Agreement and now they want to be Irish,” screamed Lucy Iarvrahagh-O’Kellly of Labour.

  • Mick Fealty

    Ó Caoláin knows his constituency. And fair play to him. But here’s the problem.

    Any Minister in any Irish government before the 1998 referendum would have referred to people on both sides of the border as Irish. Articles 2 and 3 would have made that incumbent upon them.

    Ever since the dropping of that constitutional claim, the territory is 26, not 32. There are now two places: Ireland; and Northern Ireland.

    In many cultural and sporting fields that can be finessed to take account of Northern Irish, Irish citizens sensibilities (like eligibility to play for the Republic). In others (like participating in the GAA’s all island league and cup competitions) the constitution has no baring.

    But in terms of government, it is clear that the Minister is talking about taxable residents of the 26 rather than Irish citizens per se. It is the change in the Irish constitution that’s helped create the apparent anomaly.

    I get the politics of it, and I applaud Caoimghín for his political chutzpah. But the minister is abiding by the constitution of the Republic, not to mention being fiscally responsible by looking for a tangible ROI (pardon the pun) for the ROI.

    Think of it a little more creatively. If we cannot distinguish between taxable citizens of the south and non taxable citizens of the north, should the south be asked to pay for those northern citizens who can produce an Irish passport when they use the unit?

    Or can someone give us acceptable form of words that we can use to make the kind of distinction Minister Reilly (and Caoimghín) are so sorely lacking?

  • Chris Donnelly

    But the minister is abiding by the constitution of the Republic, not to mention being fiscally responsible by looking for a tangible ROI (pardon the pun) for the ROI.

    Think of it a little more creatively. If we cannot distinguish between taxable citizens of the south and non taxable citizens of the north, should the south be asked to pay for those northern citizens who can produce an Irish passport when they use the unit?

    Or can someone give us acceptable form of words that we can use to make the kind of distinction Minister Reilly (and Caoimghín) are so sorely lacking?

    Mick

    Talk about unnecessarily overcomplicating matters!

    A Minister in the Irish government has no right to define who is Irish. Residents of the sovereign Irish state are Irish in precisely the same manner that those residing in the north are, albeit with a government indigenous to this island (errr…..before the bailout brought Europe over to steer the ship.)

    There is really no need to overcomplicate matters. Southern politicians have grown increasingly comfortable in using the term Ireland interchangeably to describe the 26 county state out of laziness as much as anything else.

    But watch how the rise of Sinn Fein in the south leads to a sharpening of the political vocabulary, not least in the border counties, where a smarting Fianna Fail party will have plenty of time to assess how it plans to make its comeback in a manner that does not unnecessarily antagonise an element of its target constituency.

  • lamhdearg

    J.R.
    could have said, patients from Eire.

  • Mick Fealty

    Chris,

    I feel an Einstein quote coming on:

    “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.”

    You are mixing two things. The politics of the thing, and the substance of the thing. I see the politics you are talking about (FF first, then move on FG and Labour and building strength before having to go into Goverment), but the substance is logic on northern graffitied stilts.

    Seriously, the removal of Article’s 2 and 3 (and the southern culture it has given rise to) are an important structural challenge to O’Caolain’s logic.

  • Mick Fealty

    Joe (to your removed post),

    I warned everyone two days ago that during the election I was taking a zero tolerance attitude to trolling and off topic wanderings.

    I reminded Red of that above and he ignored it by going back to his old speciality, which is trying to drive the content of the blog from the comment zone.

    He now has a Yellow for his troubles. Please do not encourage him to come back in again and go back off topic again.

    It would not be fair on him, not least because, I might then have to ping you both.

    Red (to your removed post),

    No harm to you, but I paid you the compliment of giving you a direct qualitative answer on both your suggestions and you came back with the same off topic line (agenda blah, blah, blah). That’s trolling, and we don’t have space to indulge you on that any more, at least for the election campaign.

    Besides, it’s not a question of agendas, it’s a simple editorial question of what’s worth blogging and what’s not (and that’s not an invitation to continue this conversation BTW, for it will most surely bring you further cards of another colour).

  • Reader

    Chris Donnelly: are Irish in precisely the same manner that those residing in the north are, albeit with a government indigenous to this island
    Nope – you need to check the GFA. The ones in the North may *choose* to regard themselves as Irish, the ones in the south do not have the option to refuse. Many of the Nordies who would have used the facility would not have described themselves as Irish.
    Both COC and JR are wrong in a way, though JR is somewhat trapped by the RoI’s decision to just refer to itself as “Ireland”

  • Mick Fealty

    As a supplementary, it’s worth mentioning that Reilly includes ‘non nationals’. Simply put the GFA has screwed with the nomenclature.

  • Mike the First

    “Southern politicians have grown increasingly comfortable in using the term Ireland interchangeably to describe the 26 county state out of laziness as much as anything else”

    Northern nationalists do this too however, in some circumstances which suit. “My passport says Ireland”…”President of Ireland”…

  • FuturePhysicist

    Look at the moment the bigger issue is there’s no radiotherapy unit being developed so no fraction of patients Irish, British or other nationality will be set to be treated as things stand… it’s a divide by zero error to quote fractions.

    Surely the medic and the ex bankmanager should come together and access the staff revenue problem that McGimpsey claims has shelved the project.

    Maybe cross border locum projects?

  • George

    Reader,
    Nope – you need to check the GFA. The ones in the North may *choose* to regard themselves as Irish, the ones in the south do not have the option to refuse. Many of the Nordies who would have used the facility would not have described themselves as Irish.

    That is wrong. Actually you need to check the Irish Constitution and accompanying legislation governing Irish citizenship, the same procedures apply to both. There is no differentiation.