WHEN will we get our priorities right? As almost 29,000 people linger on hospital waiting lists, it has emerged that a major criminal was taken from jail to undergo cosmetic surgery.
Brian Rattigan, serving life for a feud-related murder at Portlaoise Prison, had the procedure for scarring to his lip. He was escorted under expensive armed guard to hospital on a number of occasions.
The bill for the surgery has been paid by the taxpayer.
Ireland has a humane prison system. Inmates in need of vital hospital treatment are afforded it.
But taxpayers and patients will rightly ask how a killer like Rattigan is entitled to non-essential treatment.
The Prison Service has refused to comment, citing "medical confidentiality". This is not acceptable.
People are entitled to know why a killer is provided with vanity surgery, while those with serious illnesses must wait.