Meath West Aontú TD, Peadar Tóibín was involved in sharp exchanges with Taoiseach Micheál Martin when he raised

the need to open up Cancer services fully in the Dáil yesterday,

 

Deputy Tóibín told Taoiseach Micheál Martin that “480 people will get cancer today. Tragically 24 people are likely to die today. Late diagnosis, late treatment will lead to radically more advanced cancers coming into the system, leading to greater levels of morbidity and death”

 

He asked “Why has the government reduced cancer services, when the need is so important at the moment? And will the government guarantee to bring back full cancer services immediately?”

 

A visibly angry Martin retorted “This rhetoric is extraordinary. I take it Deputy Tóibín you realise we are in a global pandemic? No government has premeditated to reduce cancer services, like get real, get bloody well realistic”. The Taoiseach immediately apologised for swearing.

 

He continued: “I think it is a bit much. We want to provide the maximum of Cancer services, the reason there has been a backlog is because we are in the middle of a global pandemic, which has had a terrible impact on frontline health care services”.

 

The Aontú party stated that the government was “out of touch” and condemned the Taoiseach’s digs at Deputy Toibín, they claimed: “this is an absolutely disgraceful comment and an insult to those fearful over the disruption of Cancer services by the government’s policies”.

 

Deputy Tóibín has vowed that despite this, he will continue to pressure the government until cancer services are fully open again.