Government TD Michael Finneran spoke exclusively to the Roscommon People yesterday (Wednesday) on the dramatic intervention by four leading consultants into the Roscommon Hospital debate. Deputy Finneran said that he agrees with the consultants’ view that lives will be lost if HSE plans for Roscommon and Portiuncula Hospitals are carried through. The Fianna Fail TD distanced himself fully from the HSE, commenting that HSE proposals relating to Roscommon Hospital are in ‘direct conflict’ with Government policy. Earlier in the week the Mayor of Roscommon, Cllr. John Kelly, had demanded a ‘clear statement’ for Deputy Finneran, who he accused of misleading the electorate prior to this year’s general election. The chain of events began when four consultants at Roscommon Hospital sent a letter to the local media (see full letter on page 8) in which they speak of their belief that A&E services at Roscommon will be downgraded to Day Surgery status – with loss of life resulting. Speaking to the Roscommon People on Wednesday evening Fianna Fail’s Deputy Michael Finneran said that he welcomes the consultants’ statement – and agrees with it. He said: ‘The proposals outlined by the HSE West with regard to Roscommon Co. Hospital are in direct conflict with stated and agreed Government policy on the future of the hospital. ‘The proposals are contrary to the policy agreed at a meeting on the 12th October 2006 in the office of the Minister for Health and in the presence of Minister Harney, senior officials of the Dept. of Health and the HSE, and myself. ‘I welcome the statement issued this week by the consultants at the hospitals and it is correct to say that if the proposals are carried through there will be loss of life, which cannot be acceptable under any circumstances. ‘I received a mandate of over 10,000 votes in the recent election and I intend to carry that mandate out with regard to this issue and I can tell the people today that there will be no downgrading of services at Roscommon County Hospital’ he concluded.