Protest held over Navan hospital cuts
About 7,000 people attended a lunchtime rally in Co Meath today to protest against cuts to services at Our Lady’s Hospital in Navan.
Speaking at the rally, Sinn Féin TD Peadar Toibín, chairman of the Save Navan Hospital campaign, called on the Government to “reverse the severely damaging cuts that are being implemented” and to live up to their 2011 election promise that no emergency service would be removed from the hospital until the new regional hospital was built.
The Health Service Executive wants to move emergency services to Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda, Co Louth, but those who object say the emergency department in Drogheda is already overstretched, and would not be able to cope with an increase in patient numbers.
Representatives from the medical profession, the nursing profession, patients’ groups and all political parties also spoke at today’s rally, which took place at Brews Hill in the town between 1pm and 3pm.
Fianna Fáil councillor Shane Cassells said the people of Navan “won’t stand for any more cuts to services”.
“Today we have mobilised once more to send the HSE, James Reilly and our politicians a clear message from the people of Navan and Meath that we are going to keep the services we have and get back what we have lost,” Mr Cassells said.
A Garda spokeswoman said the estimated turnout at the protest was between 6,000 and 8,000 people.
Mr Toibín said the campaign group were “delighted with the turnout”.
“It was a really powerful gathering. There were people here from the local chambers of commerce, schools, GAA clubs and businesses, a broad spectrum of representatives from across the community,” he added.