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A rally against the closure of Roscommon Hospital in 2011 Photocall Ireland
Health Cuts

Large scale 'day of action' planned as local groups form National Hospital Campaign

Hospital action groups from around the country are coming together to plan an ongoing national campaign.

THE FIRST MEETING of the nascent National Hospital Campaign takes place at Dublin’s Red Cow Inn this afternoon. Spearheaded by Meath TD Peadar Tóibín, the initiative will see representatives of groups from around the country join forces under the new umbrella name.

An organising committee for the new group will be established at today’s meeting, while those attending will also discuss tactics for an ongoing campaign.

Tóibín, who himself heads up the Save Navan Hospital Campaign, said he had contacted some twenty such groups around the country, and that members from most had agreed to support the new national effort.

“It’s becoming increasingly clear that healthcare cuts can’t be fought in a fractured regional manner,” Tóibín said. “Unless we all stand together this Government will pick off local services one by one.”

“Front line emergency services are collapsing all around the country, and peoples’ lives are in danger.”

Once the campaign is up and running, it’s planned a ‘National Hospital Day of Action’ will be organised whereby numerous mass rallies take place at locations around the country.

The group will also consider tactics like a monster rally in Dublin, as well as a ‘solidarity day’ whereby bus-loads of campaigners will be transported from all over the country to highlight issues at a specific hospital.

Tóibín, a Sinn Féin TD who’s currently outside the parliamentary party, said the group would also discuss the possibility of asking local election candidates to sign letters endorsing the efforts of the campaign.

Today’s inaugural meeting will be addressed by doctor, health campaigner and commentator Ruaraí Hanley and spokesperson for the National Ambulance Service Representative Association, Tony Gregg.

The group also intends to set up a website and social media presence to help keep members and media informed of developments.

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