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Public offers huge support for nurses on strike as local GPs take protest to Dublin

February 9th, 2019 9:30 AM

By Emma Connolly

Despite the weather, nurses were out on the INMO picket line at Clonakilty Community Hospital this week. They garnered big support from passing motorists and on internet posts. (Photo: Andrew Harris)

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DESPITE  all outpatient, inpatient and day surgery appointments at Bantry General Hospital being cancelled for two days, the public came out strongly in support of the nurses’ strike this week.

Nurses will also strike for three days next week as part of their nationwide industrial action over pay and staffing levels. 

In relation to community healthcare services in West Cork, routine community nursing services and health centre nurse clinics were also cancelled, while public day centres and day hospitals for older people, or people with disabilities, were also closed during the strike. 

 ‘Management at these hospitals wish to apologise to all those patients and family members who are affected by this action,’ a spokesperson for the South South West Hospital Group said.

But a photograph of picketing nurses on The Southern Star Facebook page reached over 10,000 readers on Tuesday and prompted 88 comments – all expressing overwhelming support for nurses.

Meanwhile, a West Cork contingent of GPs were part of Wednesday’s protest in Dublin over what they described as ‘a serious lack of government investment in a crumbling system’.

Doctors form Bandon, Bantry, Clonakilty, Dunmanway, Innishannon, Rosscarbery, Schull, Skibbereen  and Castletownbere were part of the 300-strong crowd in the capital. Many carried placards saying ‘Save general practice’ and ‘This government is killing general practice.’

The Bandon-based Weir Clinic tweeted that there was fantastic support for West Cork GPs from FF’s Margaret Murphy O’Mahony and Independent TD Michael Collins. 

Referring to the absence of junior health minister Jim Daly, the Clinic also tweeted: ‘Where’s Wally though? Hiding his talent!!’ 

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