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The capital prepares to honour Irish nurses and midwives

DUBLIN: The capital city is preparing to thank the Irish health workers who have been serving the country throughout this COVID-19 pandemic. The Dublin city is going to witness an unprecedented show of gratitude.

Dublin honors a group of people who have worked tirelessly for thousands of patients, both COVID and non-COVID, regardless of their own lives.

Messages of gratitude and respect for Irish nurses and midwives will soon be displayed by Billboards across Dublin. The Dublin City Council has begun preparations for this. The World Health Organization has declared 2020 as the year of Nurses and Midwives. The Dublin City Council decision will also reflect this.

There are nurses who leave their babies at home with relatives and are immersed in hospital services. There are those who do not get leave and do not use it even after receiving it. The situation is no different in second wave of COVID-19. Staff shortages, salary-benefit issues and family circumstances remain unchanged. A good percentage of co-workers are virus infected. But it does not affect their interest in service.

Dublin City Council has decided to plaster billboards all over the city with messages celebrating the work of nurses and midwives. Accordingly, by December 2020, a “míle buíochas” for nurses will rise outside the country’s largest hospitals.

The proposal was presented by the Sinn Féin Councillor Máire Devine, who is also a nurse. The councilor said she got the idea from her own experience working in hospitals in Ireland.

“As a nurse, for years, I used to walk out of my place of work – St James’s – and see all these billboards everywhere.”  

“And I just thought, wouldn’t it be great if there was something there to say thanks as you’re leaving a long, long shift – staying past your time,” she said.

Authorities hope to have billboards honoring nurses outside all hospitals, including St James’s Hospital in Dublin South-Central constituency, Children’s Hospital in Crumlin and Cherry Orchard Hospital, by the end of the year.

“This year, it’s our year, and I needed that celebrated and recognised and thanked and respected,” said Ms. Devine.

“And especially with COvid hitting, actually to walk out of your place of work after your 12, 13-hour shift – just a little thing to say thanks,” she added.

The design of the billboards has not yet been decided. However, the councilor said she thinks it should reflect the value of nursing services, the care and the hours-long service provided by nurses.

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