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David Walker, secretary of the Cork & Kerry region and his colleagues, all members of the National Ambulance Service representative association branch of PNA, picketing at the Cork city ambulance base on Kinsale Road last month.Picture: David Keane.
David Walker, secretary of the Cork & Kerry region and his colleagues, all members of the National Ambulance Service representative association branch of PNA, picketing at the Cork city ambulance base on Kinsale Road last month.Picture: David Keane.
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Further ambulance strikes planned following Dail protest

Protests outside the Dail by ambulance staff yesterday will be followed by further strike action in the coming weeks, it has been revealed.

Ambulance personnel from Cork travelled to the Dail yesterday to join colleagues for a mass protest outside the gates of the parliament to highlight their grievances.

More than 500 ambulance paramedics and emergency medical technicians are members of the Psychiatric Nurses Association and the HSE continues to refuse negotiating rights for that union within the National Ambulance Service.

Ambulance personnel are set to follow today’s protest with strikes next Tuesday, April 2 and again on April 10.

“The Taoiseach is the leader of the first Government in the history of the State to preside over a national ambulance strike,” said Cork TD Mick Barry (Solidarity). 

“Fine Gael want to stand idly by while the HSE deny trade union rights to hundreds of highly skilled employees who provide a vital service for our society.

“The protest at the Dail shows that they will not get away with this approach and if my chance to question the Taoiseach on the matter beforehand can add a bit to the pressure then all the better,” he added.

Yesterday’s protest follows on from four days of strike to date by PNA ambulance personnel members.

David Walker, an advanced paramedic in Cork, recently told the Echo that morale within the ambulance service is at an all time low.

“We will absolutely organise more strikes and protests for the future unless the HSE step in and give us what we deserve,” he warned.

“We won’t stop until we get this recognition.”