First of hospital protests to begin in Dundalk today
The People Before Profit Alliance are to begin weekly protests outside the Louth County Hospital from today to campaign for the restoration of services at the hospital.
The first protest will take place at 1pm with a simultaneous gathering also scheduled to take place at the gates of Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda.
The group hopes the protest will grow in popularity, with two major town centre demonstrations with various speakers planned for both Dundalk and Drogheda at the end of May.
The protests are being organised in response to the People Before Profit Alliance’s concern over a lack of accident and emergency cover in Dundalk and overcrowding in Drogheda.
The A&E Department in the Louth County Hospital was withdrawn in June 2010 with the group calling for it to be reopened at the start of the month to “alleviate pressure and overcrowding in Drogheda and avoid needless deaths.”
While the protests are being organised by the People Before Profit Alliance, local spokesperson Garrett Weldon insists people from any political background are invited to get involved.
“We are in the process of getting a committee together inviting people of all back grounds to come on board. This effort is bigger than any political movement this is about people’s lives, safety and care,” he said.
“If you have been involved in previous campaigning and feel disheartened we encourage you to come along and use our collective energy to force change.
“For those who think we are wasting our time – any time or effort put into campaigning for people’s health is time well spent don’t feel defeated about past events this is an opportunity to fight and focus on safe secure hospitals for the people of Louth and surrounding areas.
“Our demands and aims are –
- The return of a fully functional 24hr 7 day a week A&E in the Louth Hospital Dundalk
- The return to full staffing levels and the reduction of waiting times in Drogheda Lourdes
- The reduction of waiting lists for those in Louth awaiting surgery or life saving treatments.
“Even if you can only attend the protest for 5 minutes between 1pm and 2pm it will mean we have a steady presence. We know people’s time is precious but if you can spare time during a lunch break/between school runs we look forward to seeing you there. These protests will be family friendly and carried out in a peaceful dignified manner any group or persons with other motives we ask you to stay away,” said Weldon.