Protestors march to save Donegal hospital

Protestors march to save Donegal hospital Fr John Joe Duff y leads at the Save St Joseph’s Hospital march in Ballybofey and Stranorlar. Photo: Gerard McHugh

More than 1,000 people marched to “save” a Donegal hospital over the weekend, with a local priest saying “we were on fire”.

The march on March 23 was the second organised after plans were announced in 2016 to build a new 130 bed centre in Letterkenny.

Fr John Joe Duffy, Chairperson of the Save our Hospitals campaign, says this means if there isn’t enough action taken the beds in St Joseph’s Hospital will be removed and it will just be used as a day hospital.

Some patients would therefore have to go to Letterkenny.

“I believe first of all there’s is no political will to save St Joseph’s Hospital and to keep elderly people in their community. Despite the fact that the Government said that that is their commitment to do so,” Fr Duffy said.


There was “huge support” from the community at the march, with people of all ages, over 30 businesses and sport clubs weighing in.

The Save Our Hospitals campaign are seeking an independent politician in the upcoming local elections in May who will fight to retain the bed capacity of St Joseph’s Hospital.

They are also planning more protests.

“What is going to happen is that we are resolute in our commitment to St Joseph’s and keeping people in our community and we will be seeking a meeting with the Minister for Health, with the junior Minister if Health and with the department secretary general, and with all the officials around the table so that one can’t be contradicting the other because that’s what we have witnessed,” Fr Duffy added.