In a passionate address to protesters seeking the reopening of the Ennis General Hospital Accident and Emergency unit, Cllr Ann Norton described the fear her daughter must deal with in visiting University Hospital Limerick’s A&E.
“It’s great to see so many people out, I wish there was more people and I do feel that unless you’re actually affected by the A&E and hospital services people don’t realise how difficult it is, people are actually dying on trolleys in Limerick due to the lack of services that people deserve”, the Mayor of Ennis told those gathered around the Daniel O’Connell monument in Ennis on Sunday afternoon.
Norton called on the people of Clare to stand together to force the reopening of the A&E at Ennis General. “We have a perfectly good hospital in Ennis, there is a good hospital in Nenagh and St John’s, it is time that we as the people of Co Clare stand together and show the support to our nurses and doctors that are working extremely hard, we have to compliment all the nurses and doctors that are working around the clock to look after the patients and the pressure they are under it is completely and utterly unfair on them we need to stand behind them, we saw what happened this week with our ambulance services sitting outside a hospital not knowing how long they were going to be there, patients on trolleys inside in ambulances, it is not acceptable, we cannot accept it, we are not to accept this trolley crisis”.
“I said it this time last year, the idea of people accepting that people are allowed to stay on trolleys for twenty four, thirty six, forty eight hours is not acceptable and we have to stand up and say no more we are not taking out and we have to fight and work with the people on the ground”, she added.
She praised those involved in organising the public meeting/protest, “I have to compliment everyone that organised today it was not an easy thing to do to try and get people out and control the support I wish them every success and I will be there to support them in every way”.
Ann whose daughter Nicole has cerebral palsy recounted a horrifying story in which her daughter Lauren witnessed the death of an elderly patient in Limerick right beside her. “I am a parent of a child for the last nineteen years that has been in and out of hospital quite a lot, we actually sat in Limerick last year and watched an old woman die beside my sixteen year old daughter she had to see this, it was completely unacceptable, unfortunately people are not seeing what’s happening inside in Limerick”.
Cllr Norton also revealed the effect the fear of UHL’s A&E has on her eldest child. “Unfortunately I see the A&E in Limerick too often, Nicole is now nineteen and when we are told we’ve to go into the hospital she starts crying, she does not want to go to the A&E because she is scared of dying and that is the reality, she does not need to see that and there is a lot of people out there that do not want to go to the Limerick A&E because they are scared of what is going to happen in there, they should not have to go in there and they need to be looked after as patients they are not clients they are patients they are sick people they need to be treated properly”.