Paddy Meehan, who was heavily involved in the campaign against the closure of Belfast City Hospital A&E in 2011, has been selected as the candidate for the Socialist Party in the Botanic ward of South Belfast.
Mr Meehan who previously stood in the local and Assembly elections in 2011 warned at the time that “Stormont’s health cuts would put people’s lives at risk”.
This week Mr Meehan said, “the politicians in Stormont cynically chose to put the decision to close the Belfast City A&E unit just after the last elections. This decision has contributed to at least five people dying at RVH A&E unit.
“I warned at the time that nowhere near enough staff was being put in place to deal with the overload of patients at RVH and tragically my warnings have proven correct. The main parties ignored those warnings and that is why I am standing in the elections. Ordinary people need a voice on Belfast City Council to speak out against the destruction of our health service and other essential services.
“I am calling for the immediate re-opening of Belfast City A&E as well as the Mid-Ulster, Downe and Lagan Valley A&E units. I will be standing in May’s local elections as the candidate fighting to re-open the City A&E.”
“We need a voice of opposition to the politics of austerity and sectarianism in the new Belfast City Council. The people who caused the economic crisis – the wealthy bakers and speculators – continue to see their wealth grow but Stormont is making ordinary people pay with cuts to services, job losses and pay restraint. I’m calling on people who are fed up with the destruction of our health service to vote to vote a socialist fighter into City Hall.”
Mr Meehan has been a community and socialist activist for over 10 years. He led a campaign against racist attacks on Roma families in South Belfast in 2009. Mr Meehan is a call centre worker and an active member of the Communication Workers Union who has consistently campaigned for workers rights and better conditions.
Mr Meehan will stand on a platform of workers’ unity against sectarianism. As a member of the Socialist Party he has campaigned against sectarianism from both sides of the divide in favour of working class people uniting against the cuts of both sectarian blocs in Stormont.