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Dublin: 14 °C Monday 25 May, 2020
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Midleton locals hold protest over ambulance service after boy's death

The locals protested outside the office of local TD David Stanton.

ALMOST 200 PEOPLE protested outside the office of a Midleton TD this morning over the area’s ambulance service, following the death of a young boy in the town last week.

Two-year-old Vakaris Martinaitis was injured following a fall from an upstairs window. He was brought to hospital by Cork All-Ireland winning hurler Kevin Hennessy, who met the family following the fall and rang the ambulance service.

He was told there was no ambulance available at that time and drove the injured boy to South Doc and then on to the hospital. Sadly, the toddler later died in hospital.

Vakaris Martinaitis is to be buried today in Midleton.

Protest

Pic: Cllr Ger Buckley

Local Sinn Féin councillor in Midleton, Pat Buckley, told TheJournal.ie that close to 200 people arrived at Fine Gael Deputy David Stanton’s office at 9am.

He described the protest as “just one in a series of many in Midleton to protest over the lack of proper ambulance cover for the town and for East Cork as a whole”.

This inadequacy of the emergency services in East Cork will not be tolerated by the people anymore and this morning’s protest is a testament to the people living here and everyone should be congratulated.

He said that: “What people want to see is that Midleton gets two ambulances and a rapid response car staffed by an advanced paramedic based in the town, which is very central in its location with regards to East Cork”.

The protest was to call on Deputy Stanton to ensure the issue is raised in the Dáil tomorrow. Buckley said that Stanton was receptive to the protestors and that he was hopeful the issue would be raised. The Martinaitis family was informed about the protest.

Buckley added that in Midleton “there’s fear, there’s sorrow, there’s still anger” following the boy’s tragic death.

“Lets hope and pray that through tragedy something responsible and right will come from this,” concluded the councillor.

Photo: Cllr Ger Buckley

Investigation

The HSE has begun an investigation into Martniaitis’s death. The director of the National Ambulance Service (NAS), in line with the HSE’s Incident Management policy, has commissioned a formal incident review into the manner in which the 999 call received from Midleton at 2pm on Monday 6 May 2013 was managed.

The HSE said that the preliminary examination of the facts confirmed that an emergency ambulance was immediately available to respond to the call.

However, it said that in order to fully establish all the facts surrounding the management of this emergency call, including why the emergency ambulance was not made available, a formal review has been established.

The review team will include experts in pre-hospital emergency care and primary care from both Ireland and the UK and a representative from this team will liaise with the family.

The NAS said it would like to reassure the public “that reports of a reduction in emergency cover in the area are incorrect”.

It said that the reorganisation of the ambulance service in the region “has seen an approximate increase of 11 per cent in rostered man hours in the area over the last 12 months”.

Read: “Black cloud over Midleton” after tragic death of toddler>

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