Cancer Patients In Dáil protest Over Hospital Closure

Cancer patients from around the country are travelling to Dublin today to protest against the closure of St Luke’s Hospital in Rathgar. Buses carrying people from Donegal, Wexford and Waterford will arrive in the capital at noon as the cancer sufferers step up their campaign by demonstrating outside the Dáil.

The patients are highlighting their anger in the pending closure of Ireland’s main radiotherapy treatment centre.

“What the people of Ireland and future generations have here is a hospital of excellence,” said patient Joe Gilfoyle, pleading to the public to support the campaign.

“We cannot stand by and allow some half cooked politicians to take it away from us.

“The people of Ireland have let too much be taken from them over the years. Do not let this happen with St Luke’s Hospital.

“We deserve better. I plead with you to get involved in the campaign to save this wonderful hospital.”

For almost half a century, St Luke’s has treated patients from all over the county, but plans are in place to move its oncology services to Dublin’s St James’s Hospital and Beaumont by 2011.

On Saturday, The Save St Luke’s Campaign staged a protest outside the constituency of the office of local TD and PD leader Michael McDowell.

“At the protest at Michael McDowell’s constituency office on Saturday he refused to sign the petition of support for the hospital,” said Rory Hearne, People Before Profit Candidate Dublin South East.

“It is a disgrace that he will not support cancer patients in their campaign to save a hospital in his own constituency.

“We are holding this protest as part of our ongoing campaign to save St Luke’s cancer hospital.

“I am using the election to raise the voice of opposition of the patients and staff to a national level. We will fight on the ground and ensure this hospital is saved.”