Wicklow Sinn Féin Councillors John Brady and John Snell are today taking part in ‘The Big Push’ to save the Accident and Emergency Department at St Columcille’s Hospital Loughlinstown.
Beginning in Arklow at 11am an Ambulance will start a symbolic journey and travel to St Columcilles Hospital in Loughlinstown. It will stop in towns along the way where a hospital trolley will be pushed through the towns by members of the campaign group.
Speaking about the plans Sinn Féin councillor John Brady said "As the campaign to save the A&E in St Columcilles hospital, Loughlinstown intensifies it has been decided to hold a symbolic ambulance run from Arklow to the Hospital in Loughlinstown. We have called it ‘The big push to save our A&E’ we will also be pushing a hospital trolley through the main towns on route to the hospital.
“The purpose of ‘The big push’ is to again highlight how critical the A&E is for Wicklow. People from across the county depend on the service and closing it and forcing people to rely on an already over stretched St Vincent's Hospital will have a detrimental impact on all residents in Wicklow.”
Councillor Brady continued “The 24 hour A&E will close in Loughlinstown shortly unless there is Government intervention. The 21,000 people who use the service annually along with all other residents in the catchment area for the hospital deserve investment in the hospital and not a downgrading.
“The closure of the A&E is not about providing a better service, it is simply a cutback dressed up to look like it’s a reconfiguration that will remove people from the hospital trolleys in the corridors of Loughlinstown. The opposite is the case. Cutting the A&E in Loughlinstown will simply compound the problems currently being experienced in St Vincent’s and will ultimately result in a deterioration in the level of service for patients and possibly deaths.
“We are calling on everyone interested in saving the A&E in Loughlinstown to get involved in ‘The Big Push to Save our A&E’. Time is running out as the HSE, supported by Wicklow’s five TD’s, are hell bent on push through these cuts.
“However people power can ultimately stop this going ahead. We are asking people to come along today and walk with the group which will be led by an Ambulance and followed by the trolley push.”
Sinn Féin county councillor John Snell continued “The big push is a symbolic act to show that people from Arklow and further depend on the A&E. We will be starting in Arklow at 11am, then onto Wicklow Town for 1pm before going to Bray at 3pm. We will then move to the Hospital where after the lengthy journey a symbolic coffin will be delivered at the hospital gates.
“We will be encouraging as many people as possible to join in the big push along the way even if it is just through one of the towns, it is important that we stand shoulder to shoulder in an attempt to save the A&E.” ENDS