Aontú South Down candidate Paul Brady stated:

“As a father of three nurses I am only too aware of the huge pressure on the staff, services and patients of the NHS. They are all stretched to the limit and immediate action is essential. The lack of strong, accountable and leadership from the establishment parties hinders the provision of effective and affordable care in our county.

“The abdication of responsibility by the establishment parties has resulted in a chronic lack of decision-making and funding for vital public services. It is time that the community holds the establishment parties accountable for their lack of action towards sustaining and developing a hospital which can and will protect the health of our children and grandchildren to the same level of care that people of my generation received for many years.

“Over the years I been involved in helping mental health patients settle back into the community after discharge. I am also keenly aware of the lack of health facilities available across the six counties. Many have been shut down over the years and indeed Downe Hospital is continuously under threat of closure. The fight to Save Our Hospital must continue.

“The Downe Hospital (Ospidéal an Dúin) was founded in 1767 and has served the people of Down well. With courageous and ambitious leadership, the Downe can serve the people of South Down for many decades to come.”