éirígí activists were among thousands of people who took to the streets of Newry on Saturday [March 28] to demand the retention of Daisy Hill Stroke Unit. This comes after the announcement by the Southern Health Trust that the Stroke Unit is to be moved to Craigavon.
The socialist republican party joined with trade unions, community groups and members of the public in an impressive display of support and solidarity for the campaign to save the Stroke Unit.
The march assembled around noon at Marcus Square, one of the busiest streets for shoppers, in the centre of Newry. Even some local businesses closed their shutters to support the protest march. The centre of Newry then came to a standstill as those assembled marched through the town to Daisy Hill Hospital. As the march made its way through Newry members of the public watching from the footpaths joined in solidarity.
Speaking from the rally éirígí's Newry representative Stephen Murney voiced the party’s support for the campaign to save the Stroke Unit “The fact that thousands of ordinary working class people have taken the time to attend this march and rally today is evident of the anger felt at the closure of the Stroke Unit at Daisy Hill and we in éirígí are proud to stand here today in support of them.”
“Over the past few weeks i have spoken to several stroke victims and their families. The people who will be directly affected by this move find it hard to understand the logic behind relocating this vital service to Craigavon. Not only will this move have serious implications for stroke victims but it will also greatly affect health staff in Craigavon who are already working under pressure.”
“A stark and clear message has been sent to those who make these life-threatening decisions. The people of Newry won’t sit back and allow moves such as this to go unchallenged.”
Murney concluded "éirígí stated earlier this month that we would fully support the campaign to save Daisy Hill Stroke Unit and we are here today to do just that. We would urge all right thinking people in Newry and surrounding areas to throw their weight behind this campaign and support any future events that may be organised."