Nurses on the picket line at Moore Abbey, Monasterevin, in the ongoing nationwide nurses dispute, Photo Tony Keane.
Day services at Moore Abbey in Monasterevin were called off today, Thursday, February 7 as nurses took to the picket line for the third day of the INMO national strike for better pay and working conditions.
Moore Abbey provide a range of services and supports to persons with an intellectual disability and their families – residential services, respite, day services, education, and multidisciplinary supports – across midland counties.
Disability nurse and secretary of the strike committee Sean Connolly said that they were striking today for government recognition.
“We’re hoping to be recognised by the government – this is a crisis,” he said.
“Maintaining nurses in all sectors not just in intellectual disability is becoming a serious issue as young nurses either go abroad once they are qualified or are even leaving the profession. It is disheartening and it is very hard to do your job without any resources. People leaving or retiring are not being replaced.”
Sean, who has been a nurse since 1999, said there are a lot more demands on nurses nowadays.
“A lot of demands are put on nurses now and you try to do your best,” he said. “A lot of students looking at the wages here versus abroad are asking themselves is it worth it to stay here in Ireland. We need to make it more lucrative and attractive for them to stay here.”
While there was a lot of local support for from passers by who beeped their horns and free tea and coffee was even provided for those on the picket line from one of the local cafes, it was acknowledged that the strike is affecting day services at Moore Abbey and on a broader level in hospitals around the country.
“Day services here had to be cancelled today,” he added.
“This strike affects people and those affected today were informed in advance. We have around forty to fifty nurses working here but that also includes the East Midlands region. We are getting a lot of support – the Next Door to the Library Cafe dropped us over coffee and biscuits and people driving by are giving us the thumbs up and beeping their horns. Nevertheless the government just don’t seem to want to engage with us. We hope that is going to change – it is affecting so many people whose appointments all had to be cancelled today. The government needs to address the shortage of nurses, the pay and how to retain nurses and encourage more students to enter into the nursing profession. Young nurses are going to Australia or England for better working conditions and pay. I love my job but we need more support to make it more attractive for people to enter into the profession in the future.”
SEE ALSO: Nurses picket in Naas today