Opposition want Reilly to resign over hospital facility selection

SF say government credibility is at stake

Sinn Fein is calling on the Minister for Health to resign after reports that hospital projects in the constituencies of 2 of his Cabinet colleagues were fast-tracked.

It emerged yesterday that Ministers Brendan Howlin and Phil Hogan confirmed the commencement of work on their local hospitals in Wexford and Kilkenny in the summer of 2011.

This was a number of days before a Health Service Executive (HSE) board meeting to decide the locations.

'What faith can we have?'

It has prompted opposition parties to call for the resignation of Minister James Reilly this morning.

While last month the deputy leader of Sinn Féin accused the Health Minister of engaging in "sharp, corrupt practices".

Mary-Lou McDonald revealed her party had secured a document under a Freedom of Information request.

The document was a briefing note for a meeting between James Reilly and NAMA in April of last year.

"The document we have acquired openly contradicts Doctor Reilly's claim that he had no hand, act or part in the selection of the Balbriggan site" she said.

She went on to say "I am absolutely astonished on two fronts - firstly that James Reilly and this government would have the brass neck to act in such an improper fashion. But secondly and maybe more astonishingly that you will stand by not just this Minister but by this obvious sharp corrupt practice, sharp corrupt practices that cost you a Junior Minister".

Sinn Fein Health spokesperson is Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin.

He says Minister James Reilly needs to step down and that the credibility of government is at stake.