Sharkey insists that Ministers had nothing to do with new services arriving at Louth

SINN Féin councillor Tomás Sharkey, who was one of the leaders of Monday morning's protest outside the Louth County Hospital, has said that Minister for Health Mary Harney and her cabinet colleague, local TD and Minister for Justice Dermot Ahern, shouldn't have been at the hospital on Monday.

SINN Féin councillor Tomás Sharkey, who was one of the leaders of Monday morning's protest outside the Louth County Hospital, has said that Minister for Health Mary Harney and her cabinet colleague, local TD and Minister for Justice Dermot Ahern, shouldn't have been at the hospital on Monday.

He claims that the North East Regional Colposcopy Service that Minister Harney opened had nothing to do with the government and said they were taking credit for something that had nothing to do with them.

He was delighted with the turn-out for the protest, however, and said it showed the "shamed politicians" were not welcome at the hospital which he and other members of the Save Our Services campaign claim they were responsible for ruining.

Speaking to The Dundalk Democrat after both ministers had left the scene to chants of "shame, shame, shame", Cllr Sharkey said: "It's been brilliant that on a cold Monday morning that so many people who have a lot to be doing came out because they still feel so strongly about our county hospital here.

"We know that we weren't going to prevent any cuts but we came out to mark a day of shame in County Louth's history when two shamed politicans, on their way out, Mary Harney and Dermot Ahern came to open a service that they have absolutely nothing to do with.

"The Colposcopy Unit is an Irish Cancer Society unit and charities help fund it, it's nothing to do with Mary Harney and nothing to do with Dermot Ahern. They should have been coming here to reinstate our A&E unit, our intensive care and our acute medical services.

"The last time Mary Harney was here we had all three services and I wonder did she go down to see the locked doors across the acute medical wards?," he said.