Gerry Adams prioritises health and community safety on visit to Waterford

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams was in Waterford last Friday to launch the party’s Health Care policy document – ‘Healthcare in an Ireland of Equals’.

Mr Adams visited the Traveller Primary Health Care Project in the city with a tour of the building and later addressed an open forum of health advocates and professionals. He also met with residents in Ballybeg and marked the 25th Anniversary of the local organisation in Portlaw. His visit culminated with a public meeting in Tramore on the issue of health care.

Speaking at the open forum attended by numerous advocate groups and health professionals Mr Adams said health care was a fundamental right and that all public funding should be invested only in public health services.

He prioritized primary health care intervention, mental health and delivery of local services such as cancer care and neurology as key issues. Mr Adams was addressing representatives of Schizophrenia Ireland, Southeast Radiotherapy campaign, Carers Association, Waterford Rape and Sexual Abuse Centre, Headway and Neurological Alliance of Ireland, MS Society and the Irish Nurses Organisation and as well as local health clinicians. The common theme from all of these groups was the need for equal access to health services and co-ordinated primary health care.

On visiting residents in Ballybeg, he said it was unfair that the area was stigmatized and that the vast majority of people living in the estate were decent people. Listening to the stories of the local residents he said there were obvious social problems that needed to be dealt with and the best way to achieve this is to empower local communities, invest in the social infrastructure and ensure an integrated and collaborative approach exists between agencies and the local community.

During his visit to Portlaw he commended the local organisation for 25 years of hard work and activism. He said Portlaw was increasingly seen as a campaigning village which was evident during the many marches demanding Radiotherapy for the Southeast and the Irish Ferries protest.

He presented the founding President of the local branch Jackie Phelan with a commemorative piece of Waterford Crystal. Mr Adams presented a cheque to the parish priest raised by the local branch for the upkeep of the community building.

During his day long visit the Sinn Féin leader said he was impressed with the work being carried out by the local organisation and elected representatives. He said Waterford was a priority constituency for the party and he had no doubt that Cllr David Cullinane would be elected as a TD. He said the appetite for change was clearly evident and that Sinn Féin was poised to make a significant breakthrough in Waterford.

For full story see The Munster Express newspaper or
subscribe to our Electronic edition.

Comments are closed.