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Hospital campaign to visit towns outside Portlaoise as fight to prevent downgrade escalates

A general view of the recent public meeting held in relation to the future of Portlaoise General Hospital

The local group fighting to prevent the downgrading of services at Portlaoise Hospital are taking their campaign to towns around the county next week with a series of meetings planned.

The likelihood is that a march will take place before Christmas but the purpose of the meetings around the county is to raise awareness and answer questions about the campaign.

The Portlaoise Hospital Action Group are holding five meetings over two nights next week – in Mountrath, Mountmellick, Abbeyleix, Graiguecullen and Portarlington.

And the plan is to go further afield in the coming weeks to towns like Athy, Monasterevin and Roscrea with possible meetings also mentioned for Tullamore and Tallaght, two areas which would be effected if Portlaoise Hospital were downgraded as hospitals there would have to deal with the considerable extra numbers.

Meetings will be held in Mountrath, Abbeyleix and Graiguecullen on Wednesday next, November 22, with Portarlington and Mountmellick on the following evening.

In each case the meeting will be hosted by a member of the Hospital Action Committee, accompanied by fellow members and also attended by a local GP.

The Abbeyleix meeting, which will be held in the Abbeyleix Manor Hotel, will be hosted by Michael Scully with Sam Warren and Dr John Madden also in attendance. The Graiguecullen meeting will actually be held in the nearby Killeshin Hall and will be hosted by Dominic Dunne and also attended by Stephen McGinn and Dr Michelle Byrne.

Austin Stack will front the meeting in St Fintan’s Hall in Mountrath and he’ll be joined by Harry Allen and Dr Gerry White while Dr Sean Montague will be at the meeting in the East End Hotel in Portarlington on Thursday which will be hosted by chairman of the group Tommy Timmons and he’ll be joined by Ted Squire and Dick Sydes.

Secretary of the group John Hanniffy will host the meeting in the Arts Centre in Mountmellick with Elaine Dunne and Dr Mary Sheehan also in attendance.

SEE ALSO – TD urges opposition at all costs to hospital downgrade

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Steven Miller is owner and managing editor of LaoisToday.ie. Husband of Emily, father of William, Lillian and John, he's happiest when he's telling stories