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Lest it be thought that I’m keeping quiet about it, I want to state at the outset that Orla Tinsley [i] is a friend of mine. I was one of her teachers in her earliest days at UCD and we’ve stayed in touch. I like her and I feel very protective of her. Now, that’s out of the way, let’s get on.

Ireland has the highest incidence of cystic fibrosis in the world. It could be said to be a particularly Irish problem. [ii]

Because infection poses a much greater risk, those hospitalised with CF have an absolute need for an area of their own.

Let’s accept that money to spend on health services is very limited now (It wasn’t always so.) and that there are many, many worthy claims on that money. We must therefore prioritise. We must set our priorities not by way of who can generate most noise or get most people on the street or imply some financial threat but by thought and discussion. [iii]

In terms of how public money is spent we need to identify what is important, what is of least importance and things in between. So where does CF beds fit into this? It doesn’t get more important than death. The very acceptance of special hospital conditions emphasises this. It isn’t a matter of quality of life. It’s a question of life or death.

Now if someone can tell me about a greater spending priority, I’ll concede and agree that spending should be routed there first. If someone has squandered resources intended for CF hospital facilities, their priorities are very different to mine or possibly they have no sense of priority and if so, they must go.

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