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Dublin: 15 °C Monday 15 September, 2014

Vigil at children’s hospital to highlight medical card removal

Parents and supporters gathered at Crumlin Children’s Hospital this afternoon to protest revoking of cards for some chronically-ill children.

Parents of ill children and supporters outside Our Lady's Children's Hospital, Crumlin, Dublin this afternoon.
Parents of ill children and supporters outside Our Lady's Children's Hospital, Crumlin, Dublin this afternoon.
Image: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

Updated with images at 15.41

PARENTS OF CHILDREN who have had medical cards revoked highlighted the issue outside the country’s largest paediatric hospital today.

The one-hour vigil began at 2pm outside Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital in Crumlin. It was spearheaded by parents of children who are currently being treated in the hospital but whose medical cards have been removed from them by the HSE.

A callout was made to all TDs in the Dublin South Central constituency to attend the vigil in support of the parents organising it. As of this morning, United Left Alliance TD Joan Collins and Sinn Féin TD Aonghus Ó Snodaigh had confirmed that they would be speaking at the event.

Daithi Doolan, a Sinn Féin representative for Ballyfermot/Drimnagh, is chairing the vigil but stressed that it was not intended to be a “political” event. He told TheJournal.ie this morning:

I wrote to each of the TDs at South Central and invited them to attend and speak. There will be no political banners – we don’t want it to belong to any one political party. We’re there to support the parents.

It was announced in Budget 2014 that €113m is being targeted in savings from the provision of medical cards – there has been confusion and concern over how those savings are to be achieved. Subsequent to that announcement, Opposition TDs put on the Dáil record stories  of vulnerable and ill citizens who had their medical cards revoked. They claimed that the government were consciously removing “discretionary” medical cards from chronically ill people.

Vigil at children’s hospital to highlight medical card removal
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  • Medical card protest at Crumlin

    Adam Bennett (8) Image: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland.Source: Laura Hutton
  • Medical card protest at Crumlin

    Image: Laura Hutton/Photocall IrelandSource: Laura Hutton
  • Medical card protest at Crumlin

    Jasmine Doran (14) and her cousin Adam Bennett (8). Image: Laura Hutton/Photocall IrelandSource: Laura Hutton
  • Medical card protest at Crumlin

    Image: Laura Hutton/Photocall IrelandSource: Laura Hutton
  • Medical card protest at Crumlin

    Ray McHugh, who is a member of staff at the Children's Hospital in Crumlin joined parents at the protest. Image: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland.Source: Laura Hutton
  • Medical card protest Crumlin. Parents

    Source: Laura Hutton
  • Medical card protest at Crumlin

    Image: Laura Hutton/Photocall IrelandSource: Laura Hutton

First published at 13.00

‘The most vulnerable people in our society’: Dáil hears medical card horror stories>
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