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Fine Gael TDs attack Reilly over election 'betrayal'

HEALTH Minister Dr James Reilly last night bore the brunt of a backlash from Fine Gael TDs over the "betrayal" of pre-election promises over hospital services.

Dr Reilly made a half-hearted apology to backbenchers as controversy grows over the downgrading of facilities in Roscommon, Galway, Wicklow and Cork.

At a meeting of the Fine Gael parliamentary party, the minister was criticised by a series of Fine Gael backbenchers over his handling of the hospital crisis and the failure to adequately communicate with local people.

Dr Reilly was also attacked for making promises during the election campaign that the Government could not now live up to.

Among the TDs to criticise Dr Reilly were Nicky McFadden, Paul Connaughton, Denis Naughten, Frank Feighan, James Bannon, Dara Murphy, Simon Harris and Senator Michael Mullins.

"We've been betrayed and the people have been betrayed," a party TD said.

Dr Reilly is said to have apologised for failing to live up to the promises made.

However, one TD told the meeting that if the promises had not been made, then a number of seats would not have been won.

And another TD said the Health Minister would face further criticism if he didn't change his approach.

"He'll be getting more of it. He's not communicating," the TD said.

Irish Independent