On Monday, I raised the overcrowding and long waits in the Galway University Hospital Emergency Department in the Seanad.

I called for immediate action from both Saolta and the HSE nationally to introduce measures which would combat delays and overcrowding at the Emergency Department. I also called for urgent progress on the provision of the New Emergency Department, funding for the design of which has been approved in 2018.

I am shocked to hear that the new Emergency Department which was approved in principle as a project years ago is still at the “early design” stage despite being told in 2018 that a planning application was imminent then. It’s completely unacceptable that the people of Galway are being told to stay away from the Emergency Department and at the same time there is a complete lack of urgency on the Emergency Department project.

The ED project will be a major improvement in the Galway Health Service. It will cost almost €300 million when the Paediatric and Maternity Departments are included but according to the latest HSE information it will open in mid-2026 at the earliest. We need to make urgent progress on the project for the good of the people of Galway.