Councillor’s appointment axed because of strike but she stands with nurses

by Sylvia Pownall

A Solidarity councillor whose hospital appointment was cancelled after a three-year wait has pledged her support for striking nurses.

Cllr Sandra Kavanagh last week received a letter informing her that her scheduled visit was axed due to the “planned industrial action by nursing staff”.

But the Dublin 15 activist, whose daughter is a fourth-year trainee psychiatric nurse based in Connolly Hospital in Blanchardstown, claimed the excuse offered by the HSE was a mere cop-out.

She said: “I received a letter cancelling my hospital appointment that I’ve been waiting almost three years for.

“But what really boils my blood is blaming this cancellation on the nurses’ strike.

“How dare they! This appointment has been cancelled before and there was no strike. And is the nurses’ strike also the reason I had to wait three years for this important appointment?

“The real reason this happened is because of a crumbling health service that is suffering from chronic underfunding.”

Cllr Kavanagh, who braved the elements to stand on the picket line at Connolly Hospital last week and again on Tuesday, said “private parasites” were feeding off the public health service, citing the overspend on the national children’s hospital as an example.

And she revealed that her daughter was “one of the hundreds of students who will be leaving the Irish health service when she completes her exams and graduates”.

She added: “She has been forced to leave to try and build a life for herself because that option is not available to her here. I will never forgive this Government for this.

“But it makes me more determined than ever to be part of the movement to try and build a political alternative for working class and young people.”

Those on the picket line in Blanchardstown were overwhelmed with the level of support from the public and called for people to take part in a demonstration this Saturday, February 9 in Dublin city centre.

One striking nurse, Sorcha, said on Tuesday: “Please get out there and support us. We’re there when you need us, be there when we need you.”

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