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Taoiseach Enda Kenny defends James Reilly ahead of no confidence vote

TAOISEACH Enda Kenny has strongly defended the record of Health Minister Dr James Reilly today ahead of a motion of no confidence in his handling of health cutbacks.

Dr Reilly was accused by Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin of having delivered a "false and dishonest budget' for the health service and of having lost the support of Labour ministers.

Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams said it was long past time for Dr Reilly to go, as he criticised the €130m of health service cuts recently announced.

But Mr Kenny said that Fine Gael and Labour were supporting the work of Dr Reilly in reforming the health service.

He said the number of patients waiting on trolleys had reduced and legislation to provide cheaper prescription drugs was being dealt with this week.

"You'll have your vote of confidence and you'll have the result," he said.

Dr Reilly is expected to easily survive the motion of no confidence due to the Government's huge majority.

The debate on the motion begins at 7pm tonight but the vote will not take place until tomorrow night.