Hospital protestors urge No to Lisbon

Campaigners for the retention of hospital services in the west are seeking to link their protest to the debate on the Lisbon Treaty referendum.

Last night in Roscommon, almost 600 people attended a protest meeting over the proposed downgrading of the county hospital there.

A motion calling for opposition to the treaty was passed by a clear majority.

Today a campaign is being launched to merge the support of other community hospital action committees in a united bid to oppose the treaty on 12 June.

The downgrading of Roscommon County Hospital has historically been a hot political issue. Health Service Executive proposals to recommend the closure of inpatient surgical beds and the transfer of services to Ballinasloe have been bitterly opposed.

Consultants in Roscommon have warned the move is a prelude to the downgrading and eventual closure of the hospital.

Last night’s meeting proposed a No vote to the treaty and the organisers are now seeking the support of 23 other hospital protest groups around the country in an anti-Lisbon stance – a further desperate bid, they say, to stop an unfair downgrading of local facilities.

A member of the Roscommon Hospital Action Committee told RTÉ Radio’s Morning Ireland that the committee is a non-political organisation, but it has been forced to go political to get the Government’s attention.

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