Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 23 August 2014

No lack of trust, says Gilmore

Eamon Gilmore has reiterated he has full confidence in the coalition and Health Minister James Reilly

Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore has denied there is a lack of trust in the coalition despite carrying out his own research into a site for a children's hospital.

The Labour Party leader revealed his team examined possible locations for the long-awaited facility so he had the facts before Health Minister James Reilly took his final decision to Cabinet.

Mr Gilmore, who was again forced to say he had confidence in Dr Reilly, insisted there is trust between Labour and the minister.

"There is no question of any lack of trust," said Mr Gilmore. "This is about making sure we make the best decision in the interest of the public.

"I think the public expect us to do that in a serious way, expect us to do that in an informed way, and I'm not approaching this issue any different than any other major issue that has to be decided by Government."

Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin claimed the development was disturbing and revealed a lack of trust after Labour's former junior health minister, Roisin Shortall, controversially resigned when Dr Reilly added two sites in his constituency to her list of primary care health centres.

It earlier emerged the Tanaiste's advisers spoke to bidders for the hospital after an independent expert group gave a list of possible locations to Dr Reilly in March.

The Dolphin Report did not rank the different locations, but left it to Dr Reilly to make a recommendation to Cabinet.

Preferred alternative sites include St James's Hospital in the south inner city and Connolly Hospital in Blanchardstown.

Mr Gilmore said he did not have a parallel report, but got his team in the office of An Tanaiste to provide him with the facts and information he would need before making his final decision.

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