Campaigners are “over the moon” following the overturning of the non-admissions policy at Dalriada Hospital, Ballycastle by the High Court.
However, it’s not over yet.
This decision is a huge step forward for the Save the Dal campaign but it does not mean that the hospital will re-open permanently.
Beth McMullan, an active member of the campaign said: “All today’s decision does is make the battle ground a little more fair. It is vital that we keep switched on and don’t take our eye off the ball.
“We’re not out of the woods yet,” she added.
Despite what this overturning means for the immediate future of the hospital, Andrew MacKey, 38, who works at Dalriada Hospital said that it still “doesn’t make up for the stress that everyone has been put through”.
He said: “There has been so much chaos with staff being redeployed, and then re-redeployed back to hospital as well as the temp staff that were put out of work because of the redeployed staff.”
However, he is optimistic that the efforts of the campaign can come out on top again:
“It puts us in a stronger position now to fight the harder battle over the next 8 weeks,” he said.
Since the Northern Trust’s decision to close the hospital, due to budget cuts, was announced in October, the community of Moyle and Ballycastle has worked tirelessly to campaign against the closure.
The group have organised a number of protests and fundraising events, started an online petition and have been spreading the word on social media.
People from all over the world and even a few famous faces, including the cast of Coronation Street, have been uploading pictures of themselves on Facebook and Twitter holding signs reading #SaveTheDal in order to raise awareness for the campaign.
The next 8 weeks are going to be crucial for the Save the Dal campaign but people are confident that “people power” can win once again.
Sign the petition to save Dalriada Hospital here.