Monday 26 September 2016

Ring of steel up at Leinster House as small group of nurses stage protest

Published 23/09/2015 | 02:30

Members of the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation protest at Leinster House as part of their ‘Campaign for Excellence’ in Intellectual Disability Services. Photo: Leah Farrell
Members of the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation protest at Leinster House as part of their ‘Campaign for Excellence’ in Intellectual Disability Services. Photo: Leah Farrell

The big barriers were out in force - and so was the Force, for that matter.

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Molesworth Street was blocked off at both ends and lined with big steel grilles.

Also, about two dozen gardaí were dotted up and down Kildare Street and arrayed in front of Leinster House.

A protest by the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) was among a variety scheduled to take place yesterday to mark the return of the Dáil from its summer holidays.

The INMO group of a few dozen nurses demonstrating against cuts to intellectual disability services looked very small beside the decidedly robust defences.

Ailish Byrne, chair of the Registered Nurse Intellectual Disability group (RNID), said that "massive" cuts had decimated the sector. "We've lost 15pc of staff, and the budget has been reduced by €159m in the last five years," she said.

"With 30,000 people with intellectual disabilities on the national database, a crisis is coming."

INMO chief Liam Doran said: "The blunt budget cuts are really affecting the quality of life of families who silently bear the burden. If they can't speak for themselves, we'll speak for them."

Other groups protesting represented survivors of Magdalene Laundries and Mother and Baby homes and a Right2Housing rally.

Irish Independent

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