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Candidates will sign pledge to seek upgrade to Bantry Hospital

February 5th, 2020 10:02 AM

By Brian Moore

Bantry, West Cork, Ireland. 27th Jan, 2020. A meeting took place at the Maritime Hotel, Bantry, tonight to protest the potential downgrading of Bantry Hospital. Aroud 500 people attended, including TD's and councillors. Bantry locals are up in arms regarding the potential downgrading to a Level 2 hospital. The top table consisted of standing TD's and general election candidates. Picture: Andy Gibson.

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ALMOST all of the election candidates in the Cork South West consistency have agreed to sign a statement refusing to support any government that will not legally commit to upgrading Bantry General Hospital (BGH).

At a meeting, attended by well over 550 people in Bantry on Monday night, election candidates representing Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil, Sinn Féin, the Green Party, People Before Profit, and a number of independents, all vowed to sign a statement standing over a commitment to the future of BGH.

Sen Tim Lombard, who did attend the meeting, was not present when the document was produced, but later said he was happy to sign it.

‘I had a meeting in Bandon and informed the chairperson before the meeting. I am happy to sign the letter and will post a copy of it on my social media,’ he said on Twitter, after the meeting.

The document, which was read out by David Dineen of the Bantry Hospital Users Action Group, who chaired the meeting, stated that the signatory ‘being a candidate in this general election hereby promise that if elected to Dáil Eireann to represent the people of this consistency, I will under no circumstances, participate in, help form or support in anyway, any government formed after this election that is not willing to legally commit to the upgrading of Bantry General Hospital to a model three within their term of office’.

In signing it, they also agreed to make ‘the medical needs and requirements of the people West Cork’ one of their ‘main priority policies’ if elected.

Each of the election candidates present was then asked to state publicly if they would sign the document.

Each candidate then agreed that they would sign the pledge.

‘This is now committing the candidates here tonight to the medical needs of the people of West Cork,’ David Dineen said.

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