The campaign is considering whether to stand candidates in the Clare and Tipperary constituencies too.

Hospital campaign group to stand candidate

Mother of Eve Cleary to contest Limerick constituency

The Mid-West Hospital Campaign (MWHC) has announced that it will be standing in the next General Election. Activist Melanie Sheehan Cleary has been selected by the campaign group to stand in the Limerick City constituency. The campaign is still considering its options on whether to stand candidates in the Clare and Tipperary constituencies.

Charlotte Keane of MWHC in Limerick, said: “We have tried protests, lobbying our public representatives, petitions to Oireachtas committees – but it’s clear that the vested interests behind the decision to downgrade our A&Es in 2009 still hold sway. The politicians aren’t listening to us. To this day, still not one elected TD in Limerick City supports the re-opening of Ennis, Nenagh and St John’s A&Es. We warned them in February of 2020 at our protest outside St John’s Hospital that we would come to Dublin if they didn’t re-open our A&Es. This is us following up on that pledge.”

Tanya De Vito of the campaign in Tipperary and an activist with the ‘Nenagh Needs It’s A&E’ campaign, added: “It’s the logical next step for the campaign really. The decision to close Nenagh, Ennis and St John’s A&Es has proven to be disastrous. There’s been reviews, so-called ‘support teams’ sent in to UHL ED, different schemes announced – but these are all stunts which do not address the elephant on the ward, the fact that UHL’s emergency department is a bottleneck. The Midwest is the only region in Ireland with a single A&E.

“We urgently need another Model 3 hospital in the region. But unfortunately all we get are politicians thinking out loud around election time about another emergency department, and then when the polls close – always – nothing. Now we have a way to make sure that they have to keep talking about restoring our emergency departments after this election! By electing a hospital campaigner into the Dáil to take the fight into their chamber.”


Melanie Sheehan Cleary is a mother of six children, including Eve who died in 2019 hours after she was discharged from UHL. Earlier this year Eve’s family settled a High Court action over her death with the HSE and UHL. As part of the settlement, Eve’s family finally got an apology from UHL.

Speaking after her selection as the Mid-West Hospital Campaign general election candidate, Melanie said: “I was never political or active in this way before Eve died. I thought that her death would be the catalyst for change, but nothing happened afterwards. Instead, more families have had to suffer as we did.

“Eve spent 17 hours on a trolley in UHL’s emergency department after she hurt herself slipping and falling on a footpath. A few hours after she was eventually admitted to a ward, she was discharged and told to go home and rest. Less than four hours later she suffered a cardiac arrest, caused by a blood clot that had travelled into her lung. Eve was just 21.

“I have written to everyone since Eve died – including the previous minister for health, and current Taoiseach – but nobody seems to want to act. Sometimes you wonder if this was happening in Dublin and not in Limerick, would it be allowed to continue?

“Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael have clearly committed to a path which in effect means the undermining of our public health system. We always understood that it would take a lot of effort to force them into a U-turn, and we were prepared to put that work in. We say that the evidence is overwhelming for the urgent need to restore emergency services in the Midwest. We do not accept that there is any clinical argument that justifies the piling up of people on trolleys in UHL and any further delay will cost lives.”