Sean Drew

The chairman of Meath County Council, Sean Drew, who became involved in a verbal sparring match with Sinn Féins Michael Gallagher at yesterday’s council meeting has told Meath Live, the clash was over protocol.

He said, ‘It was not an attempt to stifle debate on the hospital situation, it was simply a matter of protocol, as Michael had the opportunity up to half an hour prior to the meeting to table an emergency notice of motion, which would have allowed us to discuss it.

‘In fact, in my role as chairman, I sent the following email to the health minister, Stephen Donnelly just last week.

‘Over the past weekend, I have been contacted by a number of concerned constituents regarding the rumours that services at Our Lady Hospital in Navan are to be permanently downgraded imminently.
It has been suggested that a decision has been made to fully close the ICU unit and to close the A&E Department at night from 8pm to 8am.
As I’m sure you appreciate these rumours are causing major disquiet and concern locally.
Clarification as to your and the governments intentions in relation to the ongoing and future provision of services at Navan Hospital would be very much appreciated.
An early response would greatly assist’.
‘I am still awaiting a response but would certainly agree that the matter needs discussing.”