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Thousands sign petition to save surgery

By Joanne Sweeney

Published 12/08/2015

Michael McArdle
Michael McArdle
Kevin McCreesh
Sharon McMahon

More than 3,500 people have signed a petition to save healthcare services in the south Armagh village of Crossmaglen.

Sub-post office owner and estate agent Michael McArdle said that Stormont's health cuts have gone too deep.

"There are so many things that are needed in healthcare in this area, such as a proper treatment room nurse and practice nurse, and St Joseph's High School has not been able to replace the school nurse who retired," he said.

Full-time mother of two children under the age of three Briege Donaghy is fully behind the campaign and was distributing posters for the public meeting tomorrow night in the community centre.

"I've been very worried at the thought of Dr Fee leaving and it's not just that, we are losing most of our health centre as well," she said. "If any of my children have an accident, I know I get them seen to quickly by Dr Fee at the surgery instead of going to Daisy Hill."

Hair salon owner Sharon Savage said that she felt their local healthcare would be in "jeopardy" if the town lost Dr Fee.

"Something needs to be done fast to do something about this deterioration of our services," she added.

Susan Deery of Valueland said: "I'm fully supporting the campaign and I will be at the meeting on Thursday night. We feel that this area is being forgotten about."

Pharmacist Kevin McCreesh helped to collect some of the signatures. "People are very concerned about the lack of services, particularly with the treatment room not being opened every day," he said.

"They tell us that they would be quicker coming into the pharmacy for help by the time they would get an appointment for the treatment room."

Pharmacy technician Sharon McMahon, a mother-of-two, said that all of her family will be at tomorrow's meeting.

"The treatment room and the nurse was a great service to us all and that position has not been filled since the nurse retired two years ago and only available several days a week now," she said.

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