YESTERDAY’S announcement by Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly that there will be legislation in place to protect people from intimidation outside medical centres by the end of the year, has been warmly welcomed by Together for Safety, the Limerick-based group campaigning for the introduction of Safe Access Zones.
“We are delighted with today’s announcement,” said Yvie Murphy, co-convenor of Together for Safety on Wednesday. “People need to be able to access health care in privacy and dignity and without being harassed or intimidated. Safe Access Zones around health centres have been shown worldwide to be the best and safest way to facilitate this.
“This year has seen a number of other European countries bring in this safeguard, and we are so proud that Ireland will be taking steps to protect people when they’re at their most vulnerable” she said.
“What’s really inspiring is that this has come about because of the work of a huge number of dedicated people who worked together because we all believe that people should be able to access healthcare in safety and privacy,” commented Karen Sugrue, co-conveynor of Together for Safety.
“Barristers, constitutional law experts, doctors, nurses, unions, gardaí, human rights and women’s advocacy organisations, abortion rights groups, activists, and TDs, Senators, and Councillors from across the political spectrum and both houses of the Oireachtas have worked tirelessly with us on this and to show that it could be done. This is proof of the power of dedicated people working together and we’re incredibly proud to be part of this and It’s a reminder that we can move mountains when we work together,” she said.
“We thank Minister Donnelly for this great news today and we look forward to continuing to work with him and his department until the legislation is in place and the Safe Access Zones up and running,” Ms Sugrue concluded.