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Unite unveils ‘Hands Off Daisy Hill’ Mural in Newry as campaign steps up

May 15, 2017

Unite Newry officially unveiled its eye-catching “Hands Off Daisy Hill” mural in Canal Street in the city on Friday evening.  The ceremony marked the launch of the union’s dedicated campaign to keep public pressure on the Southern Health and Social Care Trust to guarantee delivery on promises to retain services in Daisy Hill.

The unveiling took place ahead of a council-led public rally to show support for the retention of acute services at the Newry hospital, which took place in the Albert Basin at 11am on Saturday morning. Unite called on the public to reiterate their support for Daisy Hill by attending Saturday’s rally.

Speaking to The Examiner ahead of the unveiling of his community branch’s latest contribution to the ‘Hands Off Daisy Hill’ campaign, Martin McKeown, branch secretary of Unite’s Newry Community branch – who played a lead role in the campaign, said

“The campaign to defend services at Daisy Hill Hospital has secured a commitment from the Southern Trust for the continuation of A&E services at the hospital. This was a direct result of the powerful people power campaign which demonstrated our complete opposition to any threat to downgrade the service.

“Despite this success, we cannot take anything for granted. Words of assurance can easily be undermined by decisions behind the scenes. The Southern Trust must now underpin its promises with adequate resources.

“The Trust also needs to come clean with a full and open response to the serious allegations raised by Dr Duffin at the last Trust Board meeting – these cut to the heart of widespread fears that there are some who have a long-term agenda of downgrading Daisy Hill. We also need clarity on the future of the hospital’s Fracture Clinic.”

Mr McKeown added that Unite in the community and its industrial branches “are committed to maintaining pressure on the Trust and our politicians to deliver” and are proud of the mural promoting the ‘Hands Off Daisy Hill’ message.

“This mural has been produced by local street artist Conor McGinley whose mother works as a nurse in Daisy Hill. It’s great to have such talent and commitment in the local community behind this campaign,” he said.

The Unite Branch Secretary revealed that Unite intends to spread its message to communities from Annalong to Warrenpoint, from Crossmaglen to Newry via banners and the launch of an innovative car sticker campaign.

In the coming days, car stickers will be included in local newspapers throughout the district with Unite asking people to put the stickers up in their vehicles to demonstrate their support for Daisy Hill Hospital.

A car sticker will be provided with each edition of next week’s Examiner and will also be available for collection from The Examiner office in Crossmaglen.

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