The Save Our Services committee is estimating that over 2,000 people took party in yesterday’s rally in the Twin Towns to protest at the proposed removal of core services from three Community Hospitals in Donegal.
The includes representatives of the action commitees formed in the wake of the threats to Ramelton Community Nursing Unit, Lifford Hospital and St Joseph’s Hospital in Stranolar.
The march left St Joseph’s Hospital and finished at Jackson’s Hotel, where a number of members of the public addressed the gathering. There was particular anger expressed towards Junior Health Minister Kathleen Lynch, last week refused to meet representatives of the action committee.
Fr John Joe Duffy, the Chairperson of the Save our Services Comittee told the meeting that recent political decisions were ripping the heart out of rural Ireland, and warned that a society which fails to care for its sick, ill and vulnerable is a society without soul, meaning or conviction.
Other speakers included Don Harte on behalf of the Friends of Lifford Hospital, and Pharmacist Tom Murray, who spoke on behalf of the Nursing Unit in Ramelton.
The action committee resolved to meet all political parties to press their case for the future of the three hospitals, and say the campaign will continue until the future is secure for the hospitals, and people can be assured that the services that exist in them will remain.
The meeting passed five resoultions –
1. To continue to seek a meeting with the Minister for Health and the Minister of State at Health, Kathleen Lynch, TD, to have the political decision revervesd to close the 3 Residential Care Units at Lifford, Ramelton and Stranorlar.
2. A request for An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny to meet us with all political leaders visiting to meet us.
3. That we will redouble our efforts and continue this battle to save our Hospitals.
4.The people at the meeting agreed to challenge all politicans on their doorsteps on their commitment to our Community Hospials.
5. The Action Group will meet within a few days to consider further action in the run up to polling day in the General Election.
Pictures from the Save Our St Joseph’s Hospital Facebook page