‘I’m trying to improve health services and rural Ireland’ – Naughten

Responding to strong criticism from Cllr. Ivan Connaughton, Independent TD Denis Naughten has told the Fianna Fáil man to discuss the issues highlighted with his own party leader, Micheál Martin.

  “Ivan needs to have a word with his own party leadership in relation to the fact that Micheál Martin decided to pull back from the contest to become Taoiseach and has now agreed with Fine Gael that they would facilitate the election of Enda Kenny as Taoiseach,” he said.

  “His discussions should be had with his own party leader on those matters.”

  Deputy Naughten said that he had been trying to ensure that a government could be put in place that dealt with issues that affected all of Ireland.

  “We are trying to ensure that rural Ireland, which has been neglected for the past decade in particular, is very much in the centre of decision-making in government,” he added.

  The Independent TD continues to be strongly linked with a ministry in the government that is expected to be formed in the coming days.

  However, he said: “Everyone would like a ministry, but they have only got 15 of them, not 158 of them. It hasn’t been discussed.”

  Asked about suggestions that he is not making Roscommon A&E a red line issue in his talks with Fine Gael, Deputy Naughten said: “I gave a commitment to the people of Roscommon and east Galway before the election that I would do my utmost to talk to everyone and anyone to try to improve health services and employment prospects in the constituency of Roscommon-Galway.

  “That is very much to the fore of discussions that I have had with Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael and other Independents over the last nine weeks.”