A little over 300 people took part in a lively and colourful demonstration in Ballyfermot today, 1st July, to protest against ward closures in Cherry Orchard Hospital.
Families and carers were joined by community activists, local political representatives and the wider community in a show of solidarity with patients suffering from althzeimers and dementia. The Laurel Unit in Cherry Orchard hospital which provides 18 beds for such patients is due to be closed down.
People marched through Ballyfermot to the hospital where family members whose loved ones are affected by the proposed cuts handed in a local petition to hospital management.
Speaking at a rally afterwards Brid Smith, local councillor for People Before Profit ,said that "this is the closure of service in Cherry Orchard by stealth. If they do not lift the recruitment embargo in the HSE and start to fill the 22 nursing vacancies the hospital will not survive. The HSE have launched an expensive campaign against elderly abuse and yet are engaging in abusing the elderly by shutting down local hospital and vital services."
Family members spoke movingly of how the closure of the ward and the displacement of their loved ones to other areas of the hospital would have a traumatic effect on the patients.
Councillor Joan Collins called on everyone to support the campaign to keep all beds open as had been achieved in the past by the families and the people of Ballyfermot. "There is a mechanism for management to have the recruitment embargo lifted to employ extra nurses if they had the political will to do so. It is up to people power to force them to show respect for the elderly".
Also speaking where Gino Kenny, PBPA councillor for North Clondalkin and local Eirigi councillor Luise Mineghan.
The campaign will be taking part in next week’s National demonstration by Inclusion Ireland against cuts affecting people with disabilities.
Contact Cllr Joan Collins 086 3888151
Paula Gory 087 2029976
Ann Curley 087 9063630
Bernie Shorten 086 8613363
John Archbold 086 3950831
Eibhlin Evans 087 2127838
David Graham 086 3648004