Workers stage sit-in protest at Mount Carmel

Picture: Billy Higgins

A number of workers at Mount Carmel Hospital in Dublin are staging a sit-in protest following the closure of the facility yesterday.

Some 200 staff were made redundant when the private hospital closed its doors, after 65 years in operation.

The last baby to be born at the facility yesterday was to a member of staff.

Around 10 workers began their sit-in at 7pm yesterday evening and stayed overnight. A protest march will take place at the hospital this afternoon at 2pm.

"We're still trying to get over the whole shock of it," former hospital worker Mags Smith said.

"A few of us are on a sit-in here - we just want some public support really, to highlight the horror of this closing.

"We want answers from the Government (and) we want someone to be held accountable. It's just unbelievable what's happened here."

Ms. Smith said workers at the hospital had had very little support from their unions.

Meanwhile Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore has insisted that the closure of Mount Carmel Hospital should not have a negative impact on other maternity hospitals in Dublin.

"We're satisfied that there is sufficient capacity in the maternity services in Dublin," Mr Gilmore said in Dublin this morning.

"I think it's well-known that the HSE looked at the possibility of acquiring Mount Carmel and decided against it.

"We are reconfiguring maternity services in Dublin to make sure they are adequate for the needs of the people of Dublin and the wider Dublin area."

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