Simon Harris welcomes opening of new A&E at University Hospital Limerick


Fintan Walsh


Fintan Walsh

Simon Harris welcomes opening of new A&E at University Hospital Limerick

Minister for Health Simon Harris has welcomed the opening of the ED Picture: Brian Arthur

MINISTER for Health Simon Harris has said that the opening of the new emergency department at University Hospital Limerick is “a great day for the Mid-West”.

The new facility, which treated 19 patients on ED trolleys and additional trolleys or beds in the wards on Tuesday morning, is now in its third day of operation.

Minister Harris, who visited the old emergency department last October, told hospital staff and the media that it was “an absolute priority” to open the unit this May. 

In a statement, Minister Harris said: “This is a great day for the Mid-West. The new ED is three times the size of the current department and will provide safe, modern, fit for purpose facilities that meet the needs and expectations of patients and their families.  

"At the same time it will provide high quality, comfortable accommodation that protects privacy and dignity. I look forward to visiting the hospital soon to view and officially open this wonderful new facility.”

During his first and only visit at University Hospital Limerick, Minister Harris said that there was a “clear need” for a new emergency department.

The new department required an additional 94 frontline staff, and this has been secured, the UL Hospitals Group has confirmed. Taking to Twitter to welcome the opening of the ED, Hospital CEO Colette Cowan said it was a “landmark day for the Mid-West. Highly qualified staff coming to live in the area [and] capital development @ULHospitals playing our part.”

University Maternity Hospital Limerick’s clinical director for maternity and child health, Dr Gerry Burke commended UHL staff on social media for their first day at work in the new ED.

”Just had quick tour of UHL's new ED, which received its first patients today. Very busy, but staff were taking it all in their stride. Bravo!”

The new facility was delivered within its €24m budget, Prof Cowan told the media on a tour of the new facility last week.