Connemara campaigners united in ambulance fight

Two campaign groups from north and south Connemara are uniting in their bid to fight for an upgraded ambulance service.

The first task they have set themselves is to request a meeting with the key stakeholders together – the Minister for Health Simon Harris, the HSE and the National Ambulance Service (NAS)

It is the first time Coiste Chearta Chonamara and the North West Connemara Ambulance Crisis Group have joined forces in the four-year campaign to improve the ambulance service. Currently very ill people must wait up to four hours for an ambulance to arrive.

Spokesperson for the group Patricia Keane said they have met with successive health ministers and health bodies separately but they are inclined to pass the buck.

“We feel it is crucial to meet all three together, otherwise they keep shifting blame to each other. In this way a real and workable solution can be found. The situation cannot continue as it is.  We do not accept the continuous fobbing off we receive; we cannot allow ourselves to be ignored.  Our lives and the lives of our children and our elderly are at risk.”

Following calls from the community for half a century, Coiste Chearta Chonamara was set up in 2009 and made a new fire service as priority. After six years a new fire station was opened at Carraroe and quickly became one of the busiest retained fire stations in the country.

They are now ready to commit to another battle.

“Coiste Chearta Chonamara and the Connemara Crisis Group have amalgamated in a bid to achieve an adequate ambulance service for the people as is their right,” said Ms Keane.