Pat Rabbitte: Desperately ill citizens are just trying it on?

Councillors get pay-offs of up to €64,000 (Disappointment money).

Right wing (formally left wing socialist) politician Pat Rabbitte was on the Marian Finucane Show yesterday morning defending the Government’s ruthless treatment of those who desperately need but are being refused medical cards.

His overall opinion seems to be that people are simply trying it on, trying to put one over on the system and the government. In effect, they’re lying.

His approach is backed up by his strong opinion that such services are no longer possible due to the country’s dire financial circumstances.

(Councillors get pay-offs of up to €64,000 disappointment money)


I talked to James Reilly last week and he told me that there was never (heavy emphasis on ‘never’) a case where somebody phoned somebody who was the mother of a Down’s syndrome child to say, had the condition recovered or whatever was alleged (heavy emphasis on ‘alleged’) every day during the election campaign. He said he was satisfied that it never happened.

The clear suggestion here is that these are false claims leaked to the media as part of a political smear campaign against the Government coalition parties.

Marian Finucane responded by saying she heard a spokesperson for Down’s syndrome say that it had happened.

So, who do we believe, politicians whose default position is to lie or the Down’s syndrome spokesperson?


All kinds of things were alleged and urban myths grew up over the course of the campaign. No doubt some of them are true but no doubt some of them are not true.

A Dr. Ciara Kelly was on the panel and she challenged Rabbitte’s views. She related a case where a 7 year-old child with leukemia was contacted by officials to check about her condition.


Is it unreasonable given the straits we’re in that the situation ought to be examined. As the figures show, there are quite obviously a number of people who didn’t even bother engaging to reply.

(Councillors get pay-offs of up to €64,000 (Disappointment money).

This is a change of tack by Rabbitte. He’s now attacking the small number of people who failed to follow up with their claim for a medical card, possibly out of sheer frustration and stress.

Dr. Kelly responded:

I had patients who didn’t bother to reply as you put it. They were too sick, terminally ill or had learning disabilities. It’s unfair to describe them as not bothering to apply.


The fact of the matter is that we’re in the most difficult economic circumstances that we have ever been in and that every area of government expenditure has to be probed in order to try and keep the country viable.

(Councillors get pay-offs of up to €64,000 (Disappointment money).

2 thoughts on “Pat Rabbitte: Desperately ill citizens are just trying it on?”

  1. I presumed the means test was seperate from the medical conditions and those doing the means test didn’t know what the conditions were so they would send out a letter saying has your condition improved?

    so were people who have children who have Down’s syndrome contacted to ask if they had recovered, yes.

    were people who have children who have Down’s syndrome contacted to ask if they had recovered from Down’s syndrome, don’t believe so.

  2. Who is Rabbitte think he is fooling? He has some neck and I am not referring to his own “neck”which indicates he is living the life and not going to starve.

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