Sunday, 29 March 2015


éirígí activists were among thousands of people who took to the streets of Newry on Saturday [March 28] to demand the retention of Daisy Hill Stroke Unit. This comes after the announcement by the Southern Health Trust that the Stroke Unit is to be moved to Craigavon.

The socialist republican party joined with trade unions, community groups and members of the public in an impressive display of support and solidarity for the campaign to save the Stroke Unit.

The march assembled around noon at Marcus Square, one of the busiest streets for shoppers, in the centre of Newry. Even some local businesses closed their shutters to support the protest march. The centre of Newry then came to a standstill as those assembled marched through the town to Daisy Hill Hospital. As the march made its way through Newry members of the public watching from the footpaths joined in solidarity.

Speaking from the rally éirígí's Newry representative Stephen Murney voiced the party’s support for the campaign to save the Stroke Unit “The fact that thousands of ordinary working class people have taken the time to attend this march and rally today is evident of the anger felt at the closure of the Stroke Unit at Daisy Hill and we in éirígí are proud to stand here today in support of them.”

“Over the past few weeks i have spoken to several stroke victims and their families. The people who will be directly affected by this move find it hard to understand the logic behind relocating this vital service to Craigavon. Not only will this move have serious implications for stroke victims but it will also greatly affect health staff in Craigavon who are already working under pressure.”

“A stark and clear message has been sent to those who make these life-threatening decisions. The people of Newry won’t sit back and allow moves such as this to go unchallenged.”

Murney concluded "éirígí stated earlier this month that we would fully support the campaign to save Daisy Hill Stroke Unit and we are here today to do just that. We would urge all right thinking people in Newry and surrounding areas to throw their weight behind this campaign and support any future events that may be organised."

Sunday, 22 March 2015

éirígí Newry slam reckless arsonists

The socialist Republican Party éirígí has slammed the actions of those responsible for an arson attack in the Derrybeg Estate in Newry on Saturday [March 21].

On the evening in question a garage was set alight in the Fifth Avenue area causing extensive damage to the garage and the contents inside.

Living just a few yards from the scene éirígí's Newry spokesperson Stephen Murney condemned those responsible "This was a reckless and dangerous incident which destroyed a residents property and belongings. This could have proven to be more serious given the close proximity of the fire to nearby houses.

"It took two fire appliances and numerous firemen to bring this blaze under control and at one stage part of the street was sealed off. The fire service had to remain at the scene for a number of hours afterwards to ensure that no further danger was posed to local residents."

Murney continued "This is a street where lots of children play, Those responsible for this need to realise that their actions were both reckless and dangerous. I've spoken to residents in the street and they are quite rightly angered by this incident. The Derrybeg Estate is generally quiet when it comes to anti-social activity and this type of incident is neither welcome or wanted."

Monday, 16 March 2015

“Enough is Enough” – Stormont Gets the Message in Newry

éirígí activists were among hundreds of people who took to the streets of Newry in protest against Stormont’s austerity programme. Activists from the socialist republican party held aloft our “Stormont isn’t Working” banner which attracted quite a lot of attention from fellow protesters.

The large crowd listened intently as speaker after speaker lambasted the Stormont politicians who are directly responsible for implementing Tory cuts.

Speaking after the protest rally éirígí’s Newry spokesperson Stephen Murney reiterated the party’s support for the striking workers “A strong and clear message has been sent to the Stormont politicians, not only here in Newry but across the 6 counties, we won’t sit idly by whilst politicians attack the most vulnerable in society.

“Public services are being slashed and privatisation is high on Stormont’s agenda. Job losses are rife and benefits are being cut. The health and education services are being attacked and reduced by those acting at the behest of the Tories.”

Murney continued “It’s fitting that Daisy Hill Hospital is the venue for today’s protest rally, given the fact that the Stroke Unit is facing closure. This is a direct attack on the most vulnerable in society, most notably the sick and elderly.

“Vice-Chair of Unite the Union, Davy Hyland, made it clear when he stated “Enough is enough”, people need to fight back and help create a new society. We stand here today with the workers, the unemployed, the sick, the young and the elderly. Everybody in society will be affected by Stormont’s cuts. We in éirígí will fully support and stand by everyone who is willing to take part in the working class struggle".

Friday, 6 March 2015

Money, not medical efficiency, behind moves to close Daisy Hill Stroke Unit - éirígí‏

The socialist republican party, éirígí, has added its voice to calls for people in Newry and surrounding areas to come together and support the campaign to save the Stroke Unit at Daisy Hill Hospital. The party’s call comes following the announcement by the Southern Trust that the vital service is to be moved to Craigavon, a move supported by Stormont's Health Minister Jim Wells.

Commenting on the issue, éirígí’s local representative in Newry, Stephen Murney, voiced the party’s support for the campaign and added, “This is a much needed facility that provides vital care and support to stroke victims and their families. The removal of vital services such as this unit will have an adverse effect on those who need it most.

“It is clear that the Southern Health and Social Trust has totally failed to take into account the views expressed by trades unions, health service staff and the wider public on this issue.

“Centralising services at Craigavon Area Hospital is clearly not a viable solution. Over the past decade, various services from other hospitals within the Southern Trust area have been transferred to Craigavon with the resultant added pressures which the transfer of those various services have caused at Craigavon hospital. One has only to speak to nursing and other health staff at Craigavon for confirmation of the unacceptable pressures which staff are continually faced with on an ongoing basis.”

Murney went on to say, "It is also an established fact that over 70% of stroke patients are over the age of 65. Many of their spouses and family members are likely to be of similar age, and are equally likely to have health and personal mobility problems. Little consideration appears to have been given to the impact which moving the stroke unit from Newry to Craigavon will have upon that particular demographic who will be faced with round trips of 60 miles and more to visit their partners or relatives in Craigavon. Many of those elderly people seeking to visit their spouse or relative in Craigavon may not have access to car, or may themselves be in poor health.

“Given that Daisy Hill stroke unit has actually been demonstrated to be achieving slightly better outcomes than Craigavon, it is clear that this decision is not based on principles of best medical practice but is the latest outworking of year after year of public expenditure cuts culminating in Stormont’s latest austerity budget which will impact negatively upon the most vulnerable in our society.

“The Stormont Administration has committed itself to implementing Thatcher-like right-wing policies rather than creating an efficient health service available and accessible to all.”

Murney concluded “The impeding removal of the award winning Stroke Unit in Daisy Hill must be stopped in its tracks. The campaign which has been launched to save the Daisy Hill Stroke Unit is to be welcomed and it is important that people in Newry and the surrounding areas throw their full support behind that campaign.”

“It is also important for people in the Newry area to also fully support next Friday’s day of action organised by the trade union movement to protest against Stormont’s cuts to health, education and other public services.”