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Ambulance Cuts Must be Condemned - Turlough Murphy

8 August, 2008

Local Sinn Féin Councillor, Turlough Murphy has condemned recent cuts in the ambulance services in the Newry and Mourne area.

Mr. Murphy has said,

"Recent documents indicate that Newry & Mourne ambulance service will lose 3 shifts a week; this is a detriment step for the service in the area. I and other Sinn Féin representatives have met with the chief executive of the NIAS on several occasions and he has recognised and agreed that the ambulance service here was already stretched and required greater financial assistance. This is a further blow to this already stretched amenity."

He added

"I have been involved, with Sinn Féin in South Armagh, in a campaign to acquire a Rapid Response Vehicle (RRV) for the area. During this campaign we gathered over 7000 signatures from people demanding that the area be given greater medical emergency services. Although we welcomed the news that an RRV has been introduced to Newry, it is disappointing that the loss of three ambulance shifts a week has been announced."

"Furthermore, the exact location of the RRV remains a mystery and has been seen in areas far from South Armagh such as Kilkeel. I maintain that this service must provide essential service to South Armagh as it is the least covered area in the district."

Cllr. Murphy concluded,

"It is unacceptable that the original good news could be tainted by this announcement."

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