Carrick-on-Suir hospital campaigners to stage 'slow drive' protest in minister's hometown

Carrick-on-Suir hospital campaigners to stage "slow drive" protest in minister's hometown

St Brigid's District Hospital in Carrick-on-Suir which the HSE closed last year

The Save St Brigid’s Hospital Action Group is to embark on a third slow drive vehicle convoy protest from Carrick-on-Suir to Portlaw, the hometown of Minister of State for Mental Health & Older People, Mary Butler, this Saturday.
The Saturday afternoon slow drive protests to the neighbouring town in county Waterford began two weeks ago and attracted between 30 and 40 cars last Saturday, says Carrick-on-Suir Cllr David Dunne, who is involved in the action group.
The Sinn Féin councillor said the Save St Brigid’s Hospital Group decided to extend its slow drive protests out to Portlaw to ramp up political pressure on Minister Butler over the Government’s decision last December to close St Brigid’s as a District Hospital.
“We have got a great reaction in Portlaw. We have brought our protests to the Minister’s home constituency because we wanted to make the public there aware of this decision. We are putting political pressure on her.”
The slow drive protests begin at St Brigid’s Hospital on the Pill Road at 2pm on Saturdays and travel via the N24 to Piltown, cross the Fiddown Bridge and continue onto Portlaw where a lap of the town centre is done before returning to Carrick-on-Suir.
Cllr Dunne stressed that they don’t go near Minister Butler’s home but he indicated the group plans to stage a protest at one of her constituency offices.
He pointed out that the action group is planning another St Brigid’s Hospital protest march in Carrick-on-Suir once the easing of Covid-19 restrictions permit.
In tandem with the series of protests, the Save St Brigid’s action group has been sending postcards appealing for the reopening of the hospital to senior figures in Government and Oireachtas members.
Cllr Dunne said the action group is annoyed a Tipperary County Council deputation led by chairman Cllr Michael Smith has secured a date later this month to meet Tánaiste Leo Varadker in relation to the future of long term residential care at the Dean Maxwell Community Nursing Home in Roscrea while campaigners in Carrick-on-Suir haven’t been able to get a meeting with a senior Government figure so far in relation to the closure of St Brigid’s Hospital.

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