Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan-Monaghan Niamh Smyth says the National Ambulance Service needs to seriously consider a proposal for a temporary ambulance base at Emyvale while extensive road works are carried out on the main N2 route between Monaghan and Emyvale.

The NAS promised that ambulances would have priority on the route, but unfortunately there have been a number of incidents in recent weeks.

Deputy Smyth explained, “The road is the main link between Dublin and Donegal and has a huge throughput of traffic, particularly at the weekends.  I, along with members of a local community group, flagged our concerns about ambulance access on the route but it appears as if these fears have fallen on deaf ears.

“We were assured that ambulances would have priority along the road, however, only last Friday an ambulance was forced to break the red light at the road works.  It then encountered a stream of traffic coming in its direction, and was delayed as these cars attempted to pull over and let the ambulance by.  This is not the priority that was promised.

“The road between Monaghan and Emyvale is due to be completely closed over the next three weekends and there are serious concerns about ambulance accessibility during these periods.  I have previously recommended that a temporary ambulance base be set up at the Emyvale health centre so that ambulances would be able to call outs in north Monaghan without being unnecessarily delayed by these road works.

“There are already serious issues with ambulance response times in Co. Monaghan and local people are genuinely concerned that lives are being put at risk.  I am once again calling on the Health Minister and the NAS to examine the possibility of establishing a temporary base for the duration of these works”.