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March for Limerick! Thousands march through Limerick city for UHL protest March for Limerick! Thousands march through Limerick city for UHL protest

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PHOTOS March for Limerick! Thousands march through Limerick city for UHL protest

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UHL protest – for the past seven years, UHL has been the most overcrowded hospital in the country. The protest, pictured above, brought 11,000 marching through Limerick city. Picture: Richard Lynch/ilovelimerick

The UHL Protest was organised by the MidWest Hospital Campaign, along with Friends of Ennis Hospital and groups from Nenagh

UPDATED SATURDAY, JANUARY 21

March for Limerick! Thousands march through Limerick city for UHL protest jan 21 2023
Richard Lynch, I Love Limerick (right) pictured with Organiser Mike Daly and Inga Ammonsen who lost her son at UHL. Picture: Olena Oleksienko/ilovelimerick

Gardai say over 11,000 people marched through Limerick city’s main thoroughfare Saturday, January 21 to highlight hospital overcrowding and delays in the Midwest region.

“LISTEN UP HSE, give us back our A&Es,” people chanted, as they voiced their anger and concerns over the deplorable conditions at University Hospital Limerick (UHL) in what is believed to have been the largest-ever health protest in Limerick city.

Organised by the MidWest Hospital Campaign, along with Friends of Ennis Hospital and groups from Nenagh, the common goal of the protest was the reopening of the emergency departments in St John’s Hospital, Nenagh and Ennis.

Protests are also taking place outside Cork University Hospital and University Hospital Kerry in Tralee this Saturday as well as at hospitals in Galway, Letterkenny, and other sites where patients have faced long delays this winter.

The march departed City Hall at Merchants Quay shortly after 11am this Saturday before making its way via Patrick Street, O’Connell Street, Lower Mallow Street and Henry Street to Arthur’s Quay Park where a number of people addressed the huge crowd.

The crowd gathered in Arthur’s Quay park, and a minute’s silence was held for Aoife Johnston, 16, who died from meningitis before Christmas in UHL.

Melanie Cleary from Corbally, whose daughter Eve tragically passed away in 2019 after being discharged from UHL spoke to the huge crowd saying, “I think at this stage everyone knows who my daughter Eve is. Eve’s treatment in UHL ended her life and a nightmare began in our family.”

The protest was organised by Michael Daly and supported by Noeleen Moran, Coordinator of the Midwest Hospital Campaign.

Ms Moran said, “People of Clare, Limerick and North Tipperary are told often enough we should consider other options than presenting ourselves at University Hospital Limerick for treatment. What other options? We know preventable deaths are occurring at University Hospital Limerick as a result of the overcrowding because it is happening to people in our communities.”

Tanya De Vito from the Nenagh Needs it’s A&E Campaign said, “I’m going to invite every single TD and politician here today – because I’ve seen you here today – I am inviting you to join us, join the Midwest Hospital Campaign, join our fight. mIf you don’t believe in reinstating our A&Es, why are you here today?”

Organiser Michael Daly added”, “Thank you all for coming here today, but this is only the beginning of a campaign of people power that will force change in the health care in the Midwest.”

Pictures: Olena Oleksienko/ilovelimerick

Pictures: Lisa Daly/ilovelimerick

Pictures: Wael Benayda/ilovelimerick

ORIGINAL STORY, WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 20

March for Limerick! UHL protest to take place Saturday, January 21, 2023
The route pictured above

Limerick will send a message to the Government on Saturday, January 21 at 11am when marchers assemble outside City Hall in Merchant’s Quay to protest over conditions at University Hospital Limerick (UHL) and push for better public health provision in the region overall.

It all gets under way at 11am outside City Hall at Merchant’s Quay in the city centre (Eircode: V94 EH90), marching up and through O’Connell Street, turning right at Mallow Street, and right unto Henry Street, ending up in Arthur’s Quay Park, where there will be a speakers and a rally. No political speakers are invited.

In the last 15 years, intolerable strain has been put on the hospital’s emergency department (ED) in Dooradoyle following the closure of ED facilities at St John’s Hospital, Nenagh and Ennis.

For the past seven years, it has been the most overcrowded hospital in the country, with a record 18,028 patients waiting on trolleys and on wards in 2022, according to the INMO’s trolley and ward count – the highest figure ever recorded by that data.

The Protest at UHL Limerick Facebook page commented, “We decided against bringing it to the gates of the hospital for safety reasons, to include the possibility of thousands lining outside the hospital,  this could be a grave danger to both those attending for medical reasons and also to the ambulance service centre across from the hospital.

However,  I strongly believe that the walk from City Hall all the way through town and to the top of town and down Mallow Street and unto Henry Street and all the way back down to finish at Arthur’s Quay,  will have the desired effect of bringing Limerick to a standstill. It does not make the protest any less of an impact by not attending to the hospital to finish protest.”

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Richard is a presenter, producer, songwriter and actor. He was named the Limerick Person of the Year (2011) and won an online award at the Metro Éireann Media and Multicultural Awards (2011) for promoting multi-culturalism online. Richard says that the ilovelimerick.com concept is very much a community driven project that aims to document life in Limerick. So, that in 20 years time people can look back and remember the events that were making the headlines.

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