A rally organised by the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) marched through the streets of Dublin on February 9th.
The march was attended by an estimated 45 thousand people, according to the INMO. The marchers were made up of nurses, students, and supporters of the INMO’s call for the Government to raise the pay of nurses and midwives.
The marchers assembled at the Garden of Remembrance in Parnell Square at 12.30pm and started off down O’Connell Street. The march proceeded down the quays, crossing the Liffey at The Custom House and ended near Government Buildings next to Merrion Square.
The rally was in addition to strike action which had been taking place since January 30th. The 24-hour-long strikes have been in response to the claim that wages paid by the public health service are no longer competitive in a profession which is a globally traded asset, according INMO President Martina Harkin-Kelly in a press release on January 8th.
The DCU Students’ Union supported student nurses by attending the rally. Vice President for Education and Placement Craig McHugh went along on the day leaving the Helix that morning alongside fellow supporters on free buses which took them to join the march.
During the march the DCU students carried signs with messages of support such as “Student nurses deserve a future in Ireland” and “Fine Gael hear us now or hear us at the ballot box!”.
Maynooth Students’ Union did not take part in the march but instead went to Connolly Hospital to show their support for the nursing staff there.
“We decided to because even though we don’t have nursing students, as a member of the USI we felt it necessary to show our solidarity and support,” said Vice President for Education Katie Deegan.
Trinity College Students’ Union took part in the march meeting at Front Square at 11.30am on the Trinity campus before joining the main march at the Garden of Remembrance.
DIT’s Students’ Union were unable to attend due to their commitment to the upcoming referendum for the establishment of a Technological University Dublin Students’ Union.