independent

Sunday 24 February 2019

Big crowd urged to support the march to save 'Lourdes'

Mother Mary helping to build the oratory at the hospital, with Mr McGovern and Sister Veronica Akpan, the first Nigerian MMM
Mother Mary helping to build the oratory at the hospital, with Mr McGovern and Sister Veronica Akpan, the first Nigerian MMM

Hubert Murphy

Hundreds have already signed a petition to retain the name of Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, following a bid by hospital management to change it.

They are seeking to rebrand it into a Regional, University or General Hospital, excluding the Lourdes title.

However, a protest group, made up of people from the region and entitled 'Save the Lourdes Name' have begun a campaign to keep the Mother Mary Martin inspired title for the local hospital.

The campaign will step up a notch next Sunday, January 6th, when a protest march will leave from outside St Peter's Church on West Street and make its way to Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital.

The march begins at 3pm and those walking are asked to wear yellow vests.

The bid to change the name comes on the 80th anniversary of the establisment of the hospital at Beechgrove.

Never mind changing the name of Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, many feel that the role of Mother Mary Martin should be recognised even more so, given that 2019 will be so special for the town.

It was on December 8, 1939 that Mother Mary Martin opened the new maternity hospital on the site.

Since then, they have passed many milestones, the birth of the 20,000th baby recognised on January 26 1962 and by 1984, the figure had risen to 74,000 and has well advanced into the six figure mark since.

The 20,000th baby was Eamon John McQuaile from the Ballymakenny Road, Drogheda and to mark the occasion, the 8lbs 3ozs baby was presented with a silver cup and and stand by Mother Mary, no less.

The first baby born at the hospital was a boy born to Mrs. Emily Hegarty, 168 Pearse Park, Drogheda.

The Lourdes Hospital has been the birthplace of hundreds of star names across the generations.

The campaign is likely to draw on many of those to support the cause as it begins in earnest this weekend with the protest march.

The Argus

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