SOS Wicklow the campaign group which was established to fight the planned downgrading of the 24hour A&E at St.Columcilles hospital in Loughlinstown is to hold a public rally in Bray on Saturday 25th February. It will start at 1.30pm at the Town Hall in Bray and will proceed to Castle street in Little Bray.
Speaking ahead of the rally the groups secretary Melanie McAuley said "SOS Wicklow has organised this rally which will take place in Bray on Saturday 25th February as part of our campaign to save the A&E in St.Columcilles Hospital, Loughlinstown. We have been told by the HSE that the downgrading of the critical facility will take place in the first quarter of 2012, so these cuts are now imminent, the public rally in Bray may well be our last chance for people to come out and show their support for the retention of the A&E in Loughlinstown,"
The chairperson of SOS Wicklow Cllr. John Brady said "The HSE has stated that the review of the services in St.Columcilles be undertaken during the months of September and October 2011, we know it is their intention to withdraw the 24hour A&E in St.Columcilles and it is expected to happen over the next few weeks. This is a political decision, so political pressure needs to be brought to bare on our national politicians and this can only be done by people power and by taking to the streets on Saturday 25th. This may be our last opportunity for people to take a stand on this issue and we need to do so in large numbers"
Melanie McAuley concluded "We have ran a long campaign on this issue, we have collected thousands of signatures on a county wide petition and this will be presented to the Minister for Health James Reilly in the coming weeks, we now need all those people and everyone else who wants to save our A&E on the streets of Bray on Saturday 25th February at 1.30pm. We need to send the message loud and clear that the people of Wicklow want our Hospital upgraded not downgraded"