Aontú Derry Cllr Emmet Doyle has criticised the decision by the Minister of Health to seek assistance from the a British Army in hospitals due to the pandemic saying it was not appropriate and would cause deep division0 in many areas.

Cllr Doyle said:

“The decision by Robin Swann to engage the British Army in care in hospitals across the North is not one with which Aontú can be supportive. The crisis in our hospitals due to COVID and waiting lists across the service are as a result of the lack of investment by the Executive in relation to beds and specialist care.

The British Army will not been viewed by many of the people I represent as being concerned with medical care. The idea will go down like a tonne of bricks in many Nationalist and Republican areas. It would be more appropriate for the Department of Health to commission the services of other trained medics such as the Order of Malta or St John’s Ambulance or the Red Cross who have the full support of the community.

I am frustrated that the Minister unilaterally issued this move given the contentious nature of the request. Having British soldiers operating in hospitals such as Altnagelvin is wrong, especially given we are approaching a period of remembrance for those who were killed by their predecessors”