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Protests over Irish hospital closure plan

Plans to close a cancer hospital in Dublin have been strongly criticised by a Member of the European Parliament.

Mary Lou McDonald, a member of the opposition Sinn Fein party, accused Irish health minister Mary Harney of pulling the rug from under patients and their families.

The MEP for Dublin told a rally in support of services at St Luke’s Rathgar: “St Luke’s Hospital as a provider of cancer care services in Dublin has an excellent reputation.

“It is this reputation that made it possible for the Friends of St Luke’s to raise 22 million euro for the hospital.

“Any sensible administration with a modicum of sense and compassion understands that a consistently high standard of care in a fully resourced environment is critical to a cancer patient and their family. St Luke’s Hospital provides this, in spades.

“There has been minimal consultation with the staff and patients on its proposed closure which is all the more aggravated by the Department of Health’s plan to move the hospitals services to St James and Beaumont as part of the government’s co-location plans.”

A national campaign has now been started by patients, families and local residents who want to see the site expanded rather than the hospital closed.

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