Unite in the community commends the people of Newry, for turning out in such great numbers to the "save Daisy Hill stroke department rally". The people of Newry, have given The Southern trust, Jim Wells and Stormont, a crystal clear message " we want our stroke services to remain at Daisy hill hospital!" 

The Daisy Hill Save our Stroke Unit protest in Newry. Photograph: Columba O'Hare
The Daisy Hill Save our Stroke Unit protest in Newry. Photograph: Columba O'Hare

It was heartening to see the trade union movement standing together on this issue,this will have to continue if we are to prevail! Sadly the same cannot be said of our politicians; shamefully one political party used the occassion for political electioneering. (even though the people of Newry, stressed at the public meeting in Bellinis that they didn't want tactless party politics )If one has a stroke, the wonderful staff at Daisy Hill stroke department, don't concern themselves with a persons political back ground or religious orientation(they do everything that is humanly possible to save that persons life or ease their suffering) Bringing politics into this issue is a disservice to the wonderful staff at Daisy hill, such behaviour  only serves to alienate a large section of our community.

 Retention of our stroke department is not a political football to be kicked from pillar to post, it is an issue that far outweighs political allegiances If we are to have any chance of retaining our services we need the "whole community" to stand as one; time for our political leaders to do what they were elected to do "serve the community"and stop jostling to the front of public demonstrations to self promote.

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