Sinn Féin national Day-of-Action on healthcare puts demand for 'equal access for all' centrestage
Sinn Féin Chairperson Mary Lou McDonald MEP speaking in Dublin as Sinn Féin began a national Day-of-Action highlighting the crisis in healthcare provision on the island said ‘The issue of health goes to the very core of our society, to the values and principles that make us who we are. We believe that healthcare is a right and should not depend on your ability to pay or where you live. We will be bringing this campaign to every county in Ireland in the coming months and will be making it a priority in the run up to the next election.’ More than 50 protests will take place across the island today.
Ms McDonald said:
“Access to decent healthcare is one of the biggest issues facing people today. We have just come through one of the worst winters in recent years for Accident and Emergency units with up to 490 people per day waiting on trolleys and chairs at its worst.
“All across Ireland today, Sinn Féin activists and supporters are taking part in a Day-of-Action to highlight the crisis in healthcare provision on the island. Beginning in Dublin this morning more than 50 protests will take place throughout the day from Donegal to Kerry, from Wexford to Dungannon.
"Sinn Féin's message is very straightforward. We believe that healthcare is a right, which should be provided on the basis of need alone and not depend on your ability to pay or where you live. We are totally opposed to the grossly unequal, two tier system being pursued by this government where those who can afford it can get the best care quickly.
“We believe that health spending should go into public services not private health care. We believe that tax breaks to developers of private hospitals should end. We believe that subsidies to private healthcare should stop immediately. Sinn Féin would make this a priority in government.
”Today’s Day-of-Action is part of a wider campaign which will include meeting with health workers and unions to discuss the proposals set out in our health document ‘Healthcare in an Ireland of equals’, public meetings and the distribution of hundreds of thousands of newsletters, leaflets and posters. This campaign will be brought to every county and will form a central part of Sinn Féin’s campaign in the run up to the next election.
"The issue of health goes to the very core of our society, to the values and principles that make us who we are. This state can afford to improve dramatically the provision of healthcare delivery to every man, women and child. But it is clear that that will only be achieved if we have a change of direction from this government or a change of government.
“We share people’s anger about the health service. But anger is not enough. We are callin on people to campaign and demand decent, equitable and efficient services. We are asking people to join with us in making this a reality.”ENDS
Sinn Féin Health Day-of-Action – 13th May 2006
CORK - Cork City: Protest and street theatre at Daunt Square, 3pm, incorporating demand for A&E and ambulance service on Cork’s northside. Mallow: Protest outside town hall against down grading of Mallow Hospital, 11am. Clonakilty: Protest at Astna Square, 3pm
WATERFORD - Waterford City: Distribution of leaflets in city centre, 3-5pm
KERRY - Tralee: Distribution of leaflets in town centre, 1-3pm. Killarney: Distribution of leaflets, town centre, 1-2pm.
LIMERICK - Limerick City: Stall in city centre, 2-4pm.
TIPPERARY - Thurles: Distribution of leaflets in town centre, 1-2pm. Nenagh: Distribution of leaflets in town centre, 1-2pm. Clonmel: Picket in town centre at 1pm “Upgrade health services in south Tipperary”
CLARE - Ennis: Distribution of leaflets in town centre, 1-2pm. Shannon: Distribution of leaflets in town centre, 1-2pm.
LOUTH - Dundalk - Picket and leafleting @ Louth Hospital, Dundalk 1-2pm and at shopping centres between 2pm-4pm. Drogheda - Picket and Leafleting the Our Lady of Lourdes hospital in Drogheda from 1-2pm
WEXFORD - Wexford Town - whiteline Picket and leafleting - 3pm.
Gorey, Enniscorthy Town and New Ross leafleting and pickets 2-4pm
WICKLOW - Wicklow Town, Bray and Arklow – leafleting throughout the day
MEATH - Ashbourne, Navan and Trim - whiteline picket and leafleting in main shopping centres in from 2-4pm.
LONGFORD - Picket and leafleting at Longford Shopping Centre 1-2pm
WESTMEATH - Picket and leafleting at Athlone Hospital 1-2pm. Leafletting on Mullingar Main Street 1-2pm
MONAGHAN - 10.30am, Church Square, Monaghan Town, for leaflet distribution
CAVAN - Leafletting in Cavan Town
DONEGAL - Donegal Sinn Féin will participate in a major rally in Letterkenny on Sunday 14th May commencing at 2pm from Market Square organised by Donegal Action for Cancer Care.
GALWAY - Galway City – protest at UCG 11am-1pm and petition signing on Shop Street 2pm-4pm
SLIGO - Petition signing on O’Connell Street 2-5pm
MAYO - Breast Check protest outside Castlebar Hospital 1.30-2.30pm
Sinn Fein will hold a meeting in Dungannon on Saturday which will bring together activists from across the Six Counties to launch a campaign prioritising rural health issues.
Dublin events will begin in the City Centre at the GPO - O’Connell Street at 11am with a protest attended by Sinn Féin’s MEP, TDs and Councillors from across Dublin.
Clondalkin - Picket at Mary Harney’s constituency office. Main Street Clondalkin
1pm to 2pm
Donaghmede - Picket and Leafletting - Donaghmede Shopping Centre 12:30pm
Coolock - Picket and Leafletting - Northside Shopping Centre - 2pm
Phibsboro - Stall and Leaflet drop Phibsboro Shopping Centre 2pm
Dun Laoghaire - Picket at Loughlinstown Hospital - 12pm and leaflet drop and Street Theatre Dun Laoghaire Main Street at 1.30pm
Tallaght - Picket at Tallaght Hospital 1pm - 2pm
Dundrum - Picket and leafletting at Dundrum shopping centre 1pm - 2pm
Dublin South East - Launch of constituency health survey
Crumlin - Picket and leaflet dropCrumlin Shopping Centre - 12.30pm to 1.30pm
Ashleaf Shopping Centre - Picket and leaflet drop - 12.30pm to 1.30pm
Ballyfermot - Picket and leaflet drop - Tescos, Upper Ballyfermot Road 12.30pm to 1.30pm