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07th Oct 2021

Maternity campaigners say Stephen Donnelly is “letting down the women of Ireland”- do you agree?

“His silence is deafening”

Health Minister Stephen Donnelly has been accused of “letting down the women of Ireland” at a maternity restrictions protest.

Hundreds of protestors gathered to raise awareness about the harmful maternity restrictions in Ireland.

They held a protest outside Leinster House.

The protestors believe change is urgently needed.

They called for Minister Donnelly to support them during their time of need.

Far too many women have suffered through the severe restrictions in Ireland’s maternity hospitals.

Speaking at the #MarchforMaternity event, organiser Linda Kelly said they contacted Minister Donnelly weeks ago but never received a response.

“We stand here in the rain demanding better maternity care today.

“The current HSE guidelines, dated 13 September, which continue to separate women from their nominated support partner in labour, is not maternity care.

“The guidelines which severely restrict visiting hours are not maternity care. And the guidelines which exclude partners totally from antenatal appointments are not maternity care.”

“We told him this was urgent, it needed to be addressed and we needed his support.

“We’re still waiting on a response. Perhaps he will come out today when he sees the crowd that is gathered there but to be honest at the moment, his silence is deafening and he is letting the women of this country down,” she said.

The campaigners believe it is time for the harsh restrictions to ease.

Too many women have been forced to attend heartbreaking hospital appointments alone and have given birth without their birth partner by their side.

Concerns have been raised about the mental impact these restrictions will have on women in the coming months.

Line of Duty actress Amy De Bhrún attended the protest.

She told :

“I became a bit enraged with the fact that as the world was opening up, and people were going away on holidays and getting to go to pubs and things like that, there was still no change in maternity restrictions.”

“My message to [Stephen Donelly] is open up the door and talk to the campaigners. If you’re interested in what women need and what restrictions need to change, talk to the people who are experiencing it on a daily basis.”