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16 May 2022

WATCH: Protest to 'end the trolley crisis at UHL' in Limerick city

A CAMPAIGN to "end the intolerable conditions for patients and staff" at University Hospital Limerick (UHL) has taken to the busy streets of Limerick city for support.

The Mid-West Hospital campaign, so far, has garnered upwards of 10,000 signatures towards its objective of re-opening the A&E Department at St John's Hospital in Ennis, and in Nenagh.

Campaign spokesperson, Mary Cahillane, who lined the front of former Debenhams outlet on O' Connell Street with fellow volunteers today, said: "We have record numbers of people on trolleys, 126, a couple of weeks ago.”

She stressed the strain that those from rural Clare and Tipperary are putting on the overcrowding crisis in Limerick, due to the closure of A&E Departments in their respective counties.

Ms Cahillane critiqued the announcement of a private elective hospital promised for Limerick, which she feels, does not address the overcrowding issue in Limerick.

She also spoke of the "horrors" she has heard first-hand relating to conditions at UHL.

“One of our main campaigners, Maria McMahon, a lady in Ennis, her husband died on a trolley in University Hospital Limerick.

“We hear horrendous stories, of older people, where the lights are constantly on, and they are lying there without people attending to them.”

Despite this, Ms Cahillane conceded that the doctors and nurses at UHL are doing their level best.

Maurice Quinlivan TD stated that the recent news of an external investigation team looking into the overcrowding issue at UHL was not good enough, and that stronger action is required.

“We need serious solutions today, not next week, not next year.

“We need to have a public demonstration; we can’t continue to be treated as second class citizens. We have to show the Minister that this is not acceptable anymore,” he concluded.

Further demonstrations have been planned for Ennis and Nenagh, as part of the campaign.

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