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[File photo] Emma Cuddy and Shenna Kilroy from Roscommon protesting against Governments plans to close Roscommon Emergency Department outside the Irish Dail Photocall Ireland

Sit-in underway at Roscommon County Hospital

Protesters say they will continue the sit-in into the night as the urgent care facility at the hospital closes its doors.

PROTESTERS ARE STAGING a sit-in at Roscommon County Hospital this evening, as the 24-hour emergency facility closes its doors.

From tomorrow the department will treat patients between 8am and 8pm, while emergency cases will be taken to hospitals in surrounding areas.

Over a hundred people have staged a protest, according to RTÉ, and the protest is ongoing. There have been emotional scenes there this evening, and the hospital action committee says that the fight will continue and that it is not in vain.

No effort has been made to remove anyone from the facility this evening and a committee spokesperson has said that the sit-in will continue into the night.

On Saturday up to 1,500 people took part in a protest at Roscommon County Hospital in the wake of the decision to close the urgent care centre this morning.

The hospital’s emergency department had been downgraded last month to an our-of-hours service which was staffed by junior doctors. The Irish Independent reports that an average of just over one person a night had attended the facility.

GPs will now provide the out-of-hours service.

Meanwhile 25 beds are to close at the Mid-western Regional Hospital in Limerick, in an effort to reduce expenditure.

RTÉ reports that the bed closures will be implemented from next Monday. The HSE is also to ban hospitals from hiring agency doctors on short-term contracts.

More: HSE agency staff can ‘will force more shutdowns like Roscommon’>

Read: Roscommon A7E closure led to 200km round trip for elderly patient>

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