October 16, 2021

‘You are a cold, callous Government if you allow John Holmes to die’ – TDs raise plight of Kilkenny man

OUTSPOKEN Kilkenny TD John McGuinness has challenged the Government not to be “cold” and “callous” by standing back and letting a local man who badly needs access to a life-saving drug to die.

Deputy McGuiness and his constituency colleague, Sinn Féin TD Kathleen Funchion, both raised the plight of Kilkenny man John Holmes (pictured above) with Disability Minister Finian McGrath in the Dáil yesterday.

Mr Holmes has just received his tenth infusion of the drug Pembrolizumab (Pembro) at a cost of more than €50,000 – but so far it’s all been paid for privately through local fundraising via the efforts of the John Needs Pembro campaign.

Deputy McGuinness (pictured below) told the minister: “You are a cold, callous Government if you can stand back and watch the like of John Holmes die, when all he needs is permission from you to allow what Professor Crowne has said he needs, and give him Pembro.”

Deputy Funchion said: “The drug is available through the HSE, its available to other cancer patients. Clinically and medically its shown that its working, so what’s stopping John Holmes from being able to access this?”

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