July 25, 2021

Wicklow environmental campaigner shatters wrist after falling while putting up election posters

A Wicklow General Election candidate had to wait almostr three days for surgery after he shattered his wrist during a fall on the campaign trail this week.

Aontú candidate and environmental campaigner Seamus Connor suffered the fall while he was putting up posters on the Putland Road in Bray on Thursday.

The 35-year-old seconday school teacher suffered head injuries and shattered his wrist in several places, and had to have a titaniuim plate inserted.

Mr Connor was taken to St Vincent’s University Hospital, but despite his injuries he had to wait for three days before he could have surgery.

The election candidate said: “I now have first hand experience of our health service, and it’s not pretty. The doctor has told me that there is a heightened risk that I may suffer lack of mobility and arthritis down the line given the fact I had to wait almost three days for surgery. It’s just so frustrating.”

Mr Connor had nothing but praise for hospital staff, adding: “They’re wonderful. I was attended to quickly as there was lots of blood around my face and the bones in my wrist were visible, they were sticking up.

“I spent the first night on a trolley in a packed corridor, watching staff who were clearly overworked doing all they could to make the best of a terrible situation. Naturally they wanted to know how I hurt myself and when I told them I fell while putting up posters, running for the election for Aontú.

“Several asked me about Aontú’s health policies. The frontline staff in hospitals all over the country, and certainly those who treated me in St. Vincent’s are absolutely lovely and hardworking dedicated people; however they are at breaking point.

“They told me of the abuse they have to suffer from patients, and often patients’ families, who are stressed and overwrought, and it’s not fair. It’s not fair to staff or patients.”

Mr Connor added: “I was moved from trolley to trolley to a bed and back again over 24 hours to try and make space for other patients. It was heart-breaking to see elderly people suffering the indignity of lying in a busy corridor with absolutely no privacy.

“Look, I’m a young fit guy, but I could see elderly people clutching on to the trollies ,terrified of falling off ; these are fragile and vulnerable people who deserve dignity; it’s a crying shame.

“I heard one elderly man – he must have been in his 80s – and he asked the nurse if he could sleep on a chair instead of the trolley saying he couldn’t stand the trolley, comparing it to a stone slab.”

Mr Connor launched a scathing attack on the Minister for Health, the Wicklow TD Simon Harris, accusing him of being “completely out of his depth”.

He added: “It’s clear to everybody bar  Simon Harris  that  staff are run off their feet and stretched to breaking point. We need to sort our health service out for once and for all.

“Simon Harris sniggered and smirked when asked about the tabled motion of No Confidence in him prior to the dissolution of the Dáil and he said he has ‘plenty of confidence’ in himself . Well, that’s good, because very few people share that confidence in him.”

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