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Mid-West Hospital Campaign – 11,000 Protesters March On Limerick Streets Today.

“Front-line workers are working under immense pressure, under immense strain and they are extremely courageous. The least we can do is give them the tools, the training and the environments in which they can do that work at the safest possible level”.

Above quote from the lips of Dr Mike Ryan, latter current Executive Director Health Emergencies Programme, World Health Organization (WHO).

For years, University Hospital Limerick has been the most overcrowded hospital in our Irish Republic, with a record of 18,028 patients waiting on trolleys and on trolleys in wards, during 2022, according to reliable figures provided by the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO), based on their 5-day trolley and ward count.

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes – Who shall keep the keepers themselves?

As our elected Tipperary politicians decorate their social media pages; each attempting to associate themselves with greatness, based on the recent personal hard work and well deserved successes of other individuals; e.g. Winners of American Golden Globe Awards, GAA match parish triumphs & Irish BT Young Scientist & Technology award winners; University Hospital Limerick (UHL) and Nenagh Hospital, both medical facilities serving North Tipperary, have during their tenure as TD’s, been left unrepresented; disrespected; ignored and totally neglected.

One would have believed that same of our politicians, if fully awake, would have seen the writing on the wall, when on April 21st last 2022, all records were broken when 126 patients waited on trolleys; the highest ever daily figure since 2006.

In the last 14 days we have listened and read press releases from our politicians, (written by those with lesser authority than themselves), criticizing HSE officials and staff with regards over-crowding conditions at our hospitals.

Do you hear the people sing?

“Do you hear the people sing? Singing a song of angry men?
It is the music of a people who will not be slaves again!”

[Extract from song written by Alain Boublil and Jean-Marc Natel, “Do you hear the people sing?” – Les Miserables]

Meanwhile, a protest held in Limerick city today, organised by the Mid-West Hospital Campaign, together with Friends of Ennis Hospital and groups representing Nenagh Hospital, saw some 11,000 people take to the streets of the city.

Two separate, one minute silences, were observed during the protest; one for to remember the 126 people who were left waiting on trolleys last April, same the highest daily figure ever recorded at the UHL facility; the second in memory of a Co. Clare teenager, Ms Aoife Johnston, who sadly died from meningitis last month at UHL, after allegedly spending a significant period of time on a hospital trolley.

Protesters carried pictures of their loved ones today, latter who were left frightened and nervous due extreme overcrowded conditions, and alas some others who passed away at the medical facility.

Protesters stated they were exceedingly angry and fearful that this overcrowding has been allowed to continue and are seeking a reversal of the decision taken in 2009, under a Fianna Fáil government, to downgrade the 24-hour services at Nenagh Hospital, Co. Tipperary; Ennis Hospital Co. Clare, and St John’s Hospital, Co. Limerick.

Similar smaller protests took place elsewhere around the country today, with protesters sending a similar message to both the Government and the Health Service Executive, stating that they were no longer going to tolerate a health system which has, for far too long, been ignored and mismanaged.

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