Car Tourismo Banner
Home » Breaking News » Drive by protest planned for UHL this Saturday
Shay Lynch was pronounced dead in University Hospital Limerick following an incident in a swimming pool at the Lakeside Hotel's Leisure Centre.

Drive by protest planned for UHL this Saturday

Car Tourismo Banner

CLARE patients who are concerned about persistent high levels of overcrowding at University Hospital Limerick (UHL) have been urged to support another protest – “Drive To Save Lives” this Saturday.
Hot on the heels of a demonstration outside UHL coinciding with the visit of Health Minister Stephen Donnelly (FF) on Thursday, the Mid-West Hospital Campaign has organised a vehicle convoy to drive home the message that one Emergency Department (ED) is not enough for the region.
This latest protest marks 15 years since the controversial removal of 24-hour casualty cover from Ennis, Nenagh, and St John’s Hospital on April 6, 2009.
There will be a convoy leaving Ennis at 11am. Clare Marts complex has allowed participants to gather in their car park from 10.45am.
The vehicle convoy will leave Ennis and travel the old road via Clarecastle and Newmarket on Fergus to Limerick City.
It will converge with the Limerick and Tipperary convoys at the main assembly point near St John’s at 12 and from there it will drive up O’Connell Street and on to the HSE management offices at Heuston Hall, Raheen.
Noeleen Moran of the Mid West Hospital Campaign said people can leave from Ennis or join at any point that is convenient along the route.
“We are asking people to decorate their car windows with homemade banners or slogans supporting the reopening of Ennis ED,” she said.
When Minister Donnelly visited UHL last week, she hoped he saw the 92 patients on trolleys and that his early unannounced arrival wasn’t an attempt to avoid meeting hospital campaigners from the region.
Describing the reconfiguration of acute hospitals in 2009 as an “unmitigated disaster”, Ms Moran stated UHL is consistently the most overcrowded ED in the country.
“The Mid-West has one ED to cover 425,000 people, under these circumstances ‘reconfiguration’ cannot be made to work,” she said.
“Using INMO figures, and calculating to include weekends and bank holidays which the INMO do not count, the Mid-West Hospital Campaign estimates that 3,149 people were on trollies in UHL throughout March.
“When the new Fine Gael leader Simon Harris visited UHL in 2017, there were 47 people on trollies. He said that something needed to be done about it.
“Today, there are consistently over 100 people left on trollies every day.
“ We want to say loud and clear for Mr Harris that the time for action is way overdue, we must reverse ‘reconfiguration’ and reopen the closed A&Es.”
Hospital campaigner Marie McMahon from Ennistymon said that unfortunately, it feels like people in the Mid-West are not being heard when it comes to the future of health care in the region.
“The group has had countless protests over the years to highlight the neglect of healthcare in the Mid-West and the countless tragic deaths that have arisen from overcrowding,” she said.
“These protests continue to fall on deaf ears. But the group is not going away and we hope Stephen Donnelly listens to the people of Clare and the Mid-West for once and for all.
“The HSE and Government need to know that we have had enough. This protest will be loud and it will be just the start.”
Mary Cahillane of the protest group pointed out that the Government, as well as all of the opposition parties have failed to support the group’s call for the re-opening of the emergency departments in Ennis, Nenagh, and St John’s.
“Politicians cynically turn up for photo opportunities come election time, but will not come out publicly and support the reversing of the failed reconfiguration of services including the downgrading of those A&Es into minor injury units,” she said.

About Dan Danaher

Check Also

HURLING: Munster Final fever returns as Clare top Tipp in Thurles

Munster Senior Hurling Championship Round 5 Clare 1-24 Tipperary 0-24 It’s Clare and Limerick in …