Justice Minister promises thousands of protestors that he will 'fight for Portlaoise Hospital'

Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan has promised thousands of protestors that he will 'fight for Portlaoise Hospital'.

Minister Flanagan addressed what he has described as the largest public protest on the streets of Portlaoise in over a hundred years.

Thousands of people marched into the town last night in an effort to save the emergency department at Portlaoise Hospital which is in the Minister's own constituency.

The HSE says the hospital is not busy enough to sustain an A&E, and Health Minister Simon Harris is due to make a decision on the hospital's fate before Christmas.

Protestors marched into the town from six different directions last night, carrying candles and banners, in an effort to save their local emergency department.

Eimear Holland is the PRO for the Portlaoise Hospital Action Committee, she says last night's 'Light for Lives' rally was a direct response to HSE plans to downgrade the hospital.

She said: "This population, both Laois and beyond, which is a rising opopulation requires an A&E.

"The shiny hospital in Tallaght which we don’t currently have the capacity for, shiny hospital in Tullamore which they currently don’t have the capacity for, even if they build that capacity, it is still not going to solve an accident and emergency situation in a county, in a town that is growing."


 

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