June 2016 Review: Public rails against hospital downgrade at meeting

Public vents its fury over downgrade fears, Michael O'Reilly on way to Rio, and policing concerns

June 2016 Review: Public rails against hospital downgrade at meeting
Pat Somers pat@leinsterexpress.ie @laoisnews

The public vented its anger at a possible Portlaoise hospital downgrade at a large public meeting in Portlaoise.

Laois GPs were warned, however, that the low volume of cases in some parts of the hospital “undermine” sustaining services in the longer term.

Dr Susan O'Reilly wrote to GPs and said “ there are some concerns related to low volume services in some areas which compromise maintenance of expertise and recruitment of specialised staff. These issues undermine providing sustainable services long term.”

She confirmed that a draft plan is complete which comprises the design phase of “a new model of clinical services in our group.”

Laois County Councillors demanded meetings with the HSE and the Minister for Health, before a draft plan is published on the hospital.

The Minister for Health did not rule out Portlaoise hospital's downgrade and closure of its A&E in the Dáil.

With 90 homeless cases in the county by June, the Council admitted it had a housing crisis, and was turning to private developers for help.

Rosenallis Cystic Fibrosis sufferer Daniel McDonald was the face of a nationwide poster campaign to pressure the Health Minister to negotiate a lower price and buy a drug for CF.

Feuds between Traveller families caused mayhem across Laois towns in the past two weeks, with street brawls and trashed houses leaving local communities in fear.

The public made its feelings clear in a Laois policing survey, citing low Garda numbers in the county as the most important issue.

A survey held by the Joint Policing Committee of 40 local groups and organisations, found that the most pressing policing issue concerning the public was still the lack of a Garda presence, among other issues like speeding cars, anti social behaviour and littering.

Hundreds of households in Ballinakill and Durrow were warned not to give tap water to babies under six months as a result of possible agriultural pollution.

Portlaoise boxer Michael O'Reilly confirmed his place on the Irish team in the 2016 Olympics with a dazzling display in Baku where he won gold in the Olympic world qualifying championships.

Emo Councillor Tom Mulhall was elected the new Cathaoirleach of Laois County Council.

He pledged to work for housing and jobs in his year ahead.

A group of Portlaoise parents banded together to raise money to buy a nine-seater car that could accommodate Michelle Doyle and her seven children.

The effort came in the wake of the sudden death of 37-year old Christopher Doyle earlier this month.