Nurses are picketing Naas Hospital today

Strike

Paul O'Meara

Reporter:

Paul O'Meara

Email:

paul@leinsterleader.ie

Nurses are picketing Naas Hospital today

Nurses on the picket line at Naas Hospital this morning

Nurses at Naas Hospital  today began their first strike in two decades in freezing temperatures.

WATCH: Naas nurses fight for rights and the rights of patients as part of nationwide strike

Some thirty members of the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation walked slowly between both entrances, carrying placards criticising their working conditions and what they say is a staff shortage at the hospital.

The protests began at 8am on one of the coldest days this winter and continues to 4pm.

Nurses out on strike today outside Naas Hospital PICTURE: TONY KEANE

Nurses at the hospital say there is insufficient nursing staff deployed there which means that many shifts are understaffed.

They also claim that a beds shortage leads to the cancellation of surgical procedures and that beds are being reassigned to patients coming in through the accident and emergency department.

There is considerable public support for the nurses in Naas if the reaction of the public is anything to go by.

The vast majority of  motorists sounded their horns as they drove past past.

According to the INMO strike action was necessary after eight hours of talks between it and management failed to find a resolution on Monday.

Hospitals around the country are being picketed today. The union says the number of hospital beds has fallen by 6% between 2008 and 2018 despite the fact that the population is ageing and growing.

More industrial action is scheduled for later this week and next week.

Cllr Thomas Redmond, (2nd from left) joins in solidarity with the nurses on the picket line at Naas hospital today. PICTURE: TONY KEANE

Nurses on the picket line including members of the strike committee, Louise Keatley, Bridget Lane, Libby Edghill, and Lynn Farrell, pictured at Naas hospital

Nurses on the picket line at Naas hospital, Wednesday, January 30