Protesters in Cork call for an end to maternity restrictions

Protesters in Cork call for an end to maternity restrictions

Vikki Cullen, Mogeely, East Cork with her seven-month-old daughter, Daisy at an AIMS Ireland protest against maternity restrictions outside CUMH. Picture Dan Linehan

A PROTEST against maternity restrictions is taking place in Cork today as part of a nationwide effort to highlight the issue.

The Association for Improvements in Maternity Services Ireland (AIMS Ireland) commenced a series of socially distanced protests yesterday in Dublin, Drogheda and Donegal.

Today, a number of people are gathered outside Cork University Maternity Hospital (CUMH) as part of the nationwide protests against maternity restrictions.

Maria O’Sullivan, a Cork-based representative for AIMS Ireland explained the timing of the protests, stating that “enough is enough”.

“It’s really in response to everything that is happening and how the country is opening back up, but families are still being kept apart if their new babies are coming into the world.

“We’ve had thousands of families contacting us over the last year and since March 2020.

"Our inboxes are full every week and our support person is inundated with very sad stories between women being on their own during times of miscarriage or being on their own when they are getting bad news."

She said that they are calling for a “uniform” approach across the country and an end to the restrictions. 

Speaking to The Echo, Krysia Lynch, Chair of AIMS Ireland said: “We’re doing it now because we have had a very wide-scale opening up of society over the last few weeks.

“We’ve had a lot of shifts, a lot of changes and the one thing that has remained constant are these maternity care restrictions.

“People quite rightly feel that if they can now go shopping, they can book in to have their hair done and book in to have their nails done, why can’t their partner be with them when they are having probably one of the most important experiences of their lives," she asked.

The protests are taking place at a number of hospitals across the country this week. 

AIMS Ireland said that it has been in contact with the Minister for Health, HSE and individual maternity units and hospital groups since March 2020 seeking that evidence that supports restrictions be published.

Yesterday, the Taoiseach said that there is now “no need” for the restrictions “at all”.

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