Swann urges community to make ‘Save the Dal’ resolution

Protestors hold a candle light vigil for Dalriada Hospital. INBM50-14S

Protestors hold a candle light vigil for Dalriada Hospital. INBM50-14S

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Mr Robin Swann MLA, the North Antrim Ulster Unionist Westminster candidate and Chairman of the Stormont Employment and Learning Committee, has called on entire community to make it one of their New Year resolutions to “save the Dalriada Hospital in Ballycastle by ensuring the Northern Health Trust, and especially the DUP Health Minister, permanently reverse the decision to close the multiple sclerosis centre”.

Assemblyman Swann, who is also UUP Chief Whip and North Antrim UUP Chairman, issued his call to the community after the Dalriada won a temporary reprieve after a judge ruled it must continue to accept new patients.

Protestors hold a candle light vigil for Dalriada Hospital. INBM50-14S

Protestors hold a candle light vigil for Dalriada Hospital. INBM50-14S

This follows a decision by the Northern Health Trust to close the hospital, which also has a multiple sclerosis respite unit.

Mr Justice Treacy said injustice was likely to follow if the hospital was to close before proper consultation. The hospital had been due to close for six months as a result of budget cuts.

The move follows a judicial review taken by an MS patient who is campaigning against the proposed closure.

Mr Swann added: “While we certainly welcome Justice Treacy’s ruling, and this is tremendous news as we enter the festive period, we need to ensure as a community that we enter 2015 with a renewed determination to have the Trust’s decision permanently reversed.

Protestors hold a candle light vigil for Dalriada Hospital. INBM50-14S

Protestors hold a candle light vigil for Dalriada Hospital. INBM50-14S

“In this respect, I call on the entire North Antrim community to rally behind the ‘Dal’ and make it one of their New Year resolutions to do all they can to support the campaign to keep this much-needed Ballycastle hospital open.

“The closure threat must be permanently removed with no prospect of the axe returning to haunt the Dalriada in years to come,” said Assemblyman Swann.