I return to the sad and scandalous closure of St. Brigid's hospital in Carrick-on-Suir. The Taoiseach told me in this Chamber four months ago that he would meet with Councillor Kieran Bourke and his Fianna Fáil colleagues in Tipperary County Council, the following morning if necessary. The Minister of State, Deputy Butler, met with district councillors from Carrick-on-Suir ten days ago and she put the question to them whether they would put any of their loves ones in the hospital. A petition is being organised by Councillor Bourke and the volunteer and staff team in his full-time office to ask the people of Carrick-on-Suir, south Kilkenny, east Waterford and surrounding areas whether they would put their people into this respite hospital, including for palliative care. I know, before it comes back, that the answer will be 1,000% "Yes".
In view of this impending petition and the overwhelming support for the hospital, will the Taoiseach meet with Councillor Burke and the others, as he promised? They are his colleagues in the Fianna Fáil Party. Will he meet with the action committee, the wonderful doctors and nurses there and the members of the community who have put so much work into fundraising and everything else for the hospice beds and rooms? It is an excellent facility and it ill behoves the Minister of State, Deputy Butler, to say it is about health and safety issues when it is not.