Daisy Hill Hospital’s Emergency Department is on track to re-open in September.
The news will be a welcome boost for residents right across the wider south Armagh and Newry areas who temporarily lost the service as a result of Covid.
A concerted campaign by political representatives and the public has helped have the service returned, as originally planned by the Southern Trust.
Sinn Fein MP Mickey Brady also commended the work of the Daisy Hill Pathfinder Group for the crucial role they played in making this happen.
“The Pathfinder group, over the last three years, have been working extremely hard to ensure the retention of Daisy Hill ED and this work continued during Covid,” he explained.
“Myself and my Sinn Féin colleagues met with Trust CEO Shane Devlin and senior management on numerous occasions over the last five months to also ensure that any closure of Daisy Hill Hospital’s Emergency Department was temporarily, and at every stage we were assured it would be reopening in September.”
Mr Brady added: “This is not only fantastic news for the people of Newry and surrounding areas, but also for those staff who literally, overnight, were redeployed to Craigavon.
“It is important that we recognise and acknowledge the sacrifices they too have made to keep our citizens safe during these difficult times.
“We will continue to liaise with the Trust qnd the Health Minister in the coming weeks to also ensure the reopening of all services for Daisy Hill hospital.”
Independent Councillor Mark Gibbons said: “Like many across our region this morning, I welcome the news that September will see a 24/7 return to Emergency Care at Daisy Hill’s Emergency Department.
“I wholeheartedly appreciate all who gave their time and voice to ensure the people of this area continue to receive the health care services they deserve. A great combined effort from everyone within the district.
“We must continue to focus our energy and work together to consolidate our efforts in order to campaign for progressive and advanced health care provision in the South Down Area.
“Our health is our wealth and our constituents deserve nothing less. ‘Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much'”.