For immediate release 24th May 2010:
Doherty warns Lifford March that this may only be the beginning
Senator Pearse Doherty has commended the Lifford community for turning up in their thousands at Sunday’s Rally to Save Lifford Hospital. Speaking in front of a crowd of up to 3,500 people Senator Doherty stated that if we want our hospital to stay open then we must be prepared to fight for it, today must be seen as the beginning and not the end.
Senator Doherty in his address to the crowd said:
“There comes a time for everyone when they can take no more. There comes a time for every community when they must shout stop. Today is that day for the community of Lifford. Your presence in your thousands here has ensured that one message, one voice, one demand has filled the streets of Lifford and that is Hands of our Hospital.
“We all know the value of this hospital, the services it provides, the excellent staff and the high quality of care. We equally know that the building needs financial investment to ensure that our patients and staff have access to a facility that is fit for purpose in the 21st century. But unfortunately this Fianna Fáil government is willing to close this hospital down instead of investing some of our money into bringing it up to the necessary standards.
“Unfortunately for us we are here demanding that Lifford Community Hospital stay open. But just imagine if that building was a bank and not a hospital, because then we would hear one government politician after the other lining up to tell us how it can’t be allowed to close. We would have to listen to them preach that this facility is vital to the very survival of our society, we would watch them pump billions of tax payers money into it in an attempt to keep it open, while they ensured that the staff of its board were among the best paid in the country.
“But unfortunately for us it is a hospital and not a bank. And because it places a community’s health above society wealth then this government want to close it. Because it values a community’s need above private greed then this government wants to close it. But we must stop them in their tracks. If we want our hospital to stay open then we must be prepared to fight for it, today must be seen as the beginning and not the end. We must unite with those in the unions, in community groups, in campaigning groups and with other progressive forces to demand and end to attacks on our health services in this county."
In a scathing attack on some of his political opponents Doherty said:
“Over three months ago I had the unfortunate job of challenging the Minister of Health on the future of Lifford Hospital. I did so based on confidential information that was passed on to me that the H.S.E was looking at closing Lifford community Hospital. Since then I have been accused by some of my political opponents of scaremongering, of publicity seeking, of attempting to further my political career. Well it is clear that they know nothing about me. I am not a career politician, I am an activist and no amount of name calling will silence me as I witness an injustice about to be inflicted on a community.
“This is the time to stand up for your self, this is the time to stand up for each other, this is the time to stand by Lifford Community Hospital.” ENDS