“They’re Not Coming Back”


From top: Irish nurses and supporters in Sydney, Australia; Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald in the Dáil this afternoon

This afternoon.

During Leaders’ Questions.

Party leaders raised the nurses’ strike with the Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Mr Varadkar repeated much of what he said yesterday – that he believes borrowing money for pay increases is bad policy and that if one of group of State employees receives a pay increase, other groups will seek the same.

The 24-hour strike – the first in a series – began at 8am this morning while supporters of the strike have been using the hashtags #giveusareasontocomehome and #istandwithnursesandmidwives on Twitter.

Further to this…the following is one short exchange Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald had with the Taoiseach:

Leo Varadkar: “The impression created by some that there are more nurses leaving the country that coming into the country is not correct. The impression created by some that there are more nurses leaving the public service that entering it is not correct. And those are the facts and I hope you at least acknowledge those facts.

Mary Lou McDonald: “So, Taoiseach, then are the pictures of our young nurses from Melbourne and Sydney and all around the globe asking us, asking you to give them a reason to come home: is that like fake news? Are they doctored images? Pardon the pun.

“I don’t believe that they are. I think people know that yes, certain nursing staff would have gone for a year and come back but the reality now is that we’re losing so many of our best and brightest and they’re not coming back.”

“Here’s the other fact. There’s a strike on today. How’s that for a fact? Procedures have been cancelled as you’ve acknowledged. How’s that for a fact? Every man, woman and child in this land knows that should any of us get sick, or a loved one falls sick, you want the very best of care for them. All of us know that that’s only possible if you have the right  staff and you will only have the right staff if they are treated with dignity and they are paid and rewarded at an appropriate level. How are those  for facts, Taoiseach.

“What the nurses and midwives is very, very reasonable. And by the way, I know all about the industrial relations mechanisms of the State. You really don’t have to keep repeating that to us, as though we’re morons. We’re all well acquainted and well versed with all of that. I do not accept that you, as Taoiseach, that it is satisfactory or acceptable for you to passively sit on the sidelines whilst this strike is on.

“I’m asking you again on behalf of the nurses and midwives that I spoke to this morning, they said: tell him to engage. You are there Taoiseach, you’re the head of Government. They are asking you to engage. If you’re interested in sorting this dispute Taoiseach that this is what you will do and you will do it speedily.”

Varadkar: “Deputy, I don’t think you’re a moron. And I can assure you I’m not a moron either. But if you keep asking me the same question, I will keep giving you the same answer.”


Earlier: Alternatively

‘The Damage Is Already Done’

Calling Out Around The World

29 thoughts on ““They’re Not Coming Back”

  1. postmanpat

    More pointless bickering between Big Mary of the IRA and Leo. yawn. “doctored images, pardon the pun”. ?… I can imagine the jam covered grin on that face when the thought of it last night browsing the internet. gross!!!

  2. Junkface

    Seeing as the HSE has been a wreck for over 10 years, why don’t they try something different. Call in some Dutch, German or Swedish health care experts and let them take control of the key positions and try to organise, delegate and generally bring it up to EU standards? They have tried the other remedies, and nothing worked. They’ve thrown millions of Euro from tax payers into this black hole. Its irresponsible to keep doing this.

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Politicians should only get fully paid when they succeed in their department / roles. If they continue failing they should not be fully paid, and after repeated failures and warnings about their performance they should be sacked.

    Does anyone else have a cushy job where you can perform terribly and still get paid, and a huge pension?

    1. Cian

      I nominate Junkface as Minister for Health….

      …but he only gets paid if he can fix the health service.

  3. johnny

    -The representative for these Irish nurses overseas is….”Ciarán Cannon is Minister of State at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade with special responsibility for the Diaspora and International Development.”

    He is also the Minister responsible for Irish Aid’s half million (500,000) gift to the largest shareholder in INM,Dennis O’Brien.A cynic may think the rather gentle treatment of deadbeat Ciaran by INM is related,but I’m sure its just a coincidence.

    Cannon hired his wife after extensively advertising the post as his assistant, together you guys (the state) pay them almost 175,000 per year.He has NOT paid his rates for years,despite the state paying them 1750,000 and a judgement was registered against him for non payment.He is indebted to a state owned and controlled bank for 300,000 and appears to have little or no chance of paying that back.
    Why is he representing these overseas nurses and the diaspora while blatantly and deliberately NOT paying his bills, given his lack of financial acumen should he be in charge of Irish Aid’s 750 million budget, he can’t even run a pub.


    He’s ubiquitous in NY attending all Irish related events and will be in Vancouver,Calgary and Seattle over Paddy’s Day,is this person who won’t pay his bills while pocketing almost 200,000 from the sate, the best and the brightest Ireland has offer its diaspora.People wonder why they won’t come back-when this almost bankrupt certainly morally,Minister is given such a easy ride for non payment over many years of his bills !

    Garnish him and his wife TD’s salaries-pay your bills Cannon and stop jetting all over the word at the states expenses until you do.

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