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‘Micheál Martin will never admit he did Sligo hospital deal with me’ says Marc MacSharry

Sligo TD outlines his cardiology side-deal


Deputy Marc MacSharry

Deputy Marc MacSharry

Deputy Marc MacSharry


Sligo/Leitrim TD Marc MacSharry says last week’s motion of confidence in the Government put him the ‘unusual position’ of the leverage needed to gain commitment for improved cardiology services at Sligo University Hospital (SUH).

Although he says Taoiseach Micheál Martin ‘is never going to admit that he’s done a side deal with me’ he states assurances were given to him that in exchange for his vote there would be a for a centralised cardiology department at SUH.

“It’s not about me, it’s about people’s entitlements, like Tony Gregory with Haughey in the early 80s, the late Jackie Healy Rae with Bertie Ahern in the late 90s and early 2000s. On Tuesday (July 12), I found myself in the same position in the interest of Sligo/Leitrim and Sligo Hospital and I make no apologies for having manipulated the situation to our benefit,” Deputy MacSharry said.

Deputy MacSharry outlined the precise timeline of events to The Sligo Champion which he states also included discussions regarding Sligo’s inclusion in the mica/pyrite redress scheme.

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“On Saturday (July 9) I indicated that I would support the Government because it was the wrong time for a general election and I told the Chief Whip Jack Chambers that I was away for the weekend and would be in contact with the Taoiseach on Tuesday,” he said.

“I texted Micheál Martin at 9:49am on Tuesday morning and the Chief Whip at 10:09am with the demands, it also included assurances that Sligo would be included in the mica scheme once Sligo County Council’s submission was completed.

“At 10:46am, Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien contacted me and gave me the assurances I required on mica, and he told me Minister Stephen Donnelly would be out of cabinet to me shortly.”

Deputy MacSharry said he first spoke with Minister Donnelly at 11:42am, however this discussion was inconclusive and he asked him to consult with SUH cardiologist Dr Donal Murray.

“Dr Murray assured me he was content with the undertaking and it constituted a significant improvement on cardiology for the future,” he said.

“I spoke to the Taoiseach formally at 1:19pm. That is the position in terms of how it played out.”

Deputy MacSharry stated that all politicians would have been in favour of this deal but he found himself in the unusual position of having the leverage to see it through. In 20 years in politics this is the only time it happened to me and I tried to use it to the maximum for the benefit of our area,” he said.

Deputy MacSharry stated the commitment given to him includes a centralised cardiology department at SUH with an increase to three cardiologists, the provision of a Coronary CT Angio Scanner, and the provision of an associated support team for radiography, radiology, and admin. The prioritisation of the four-storey medical block with 42 single rooms and two floors and the provision of a centralised cardiology department on a floor of its own. A specific space for Sligo based cardiologists for Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (stenting) procedures at Galway University Hospital.