Nurses in Australia have banded together in a lovely show of support for their colleagues in Ireland ahead of Wednesday’s strike.
Over 150 nurses in Melbourne joined together at Federation Square to ask the Irish government to “give us a reason to come home" and demand better treatment on behalf of the nurses back home.
The 24-hour strike is taking place across Ireland on Wednesday over issues including low pay and staff shortages.
More strikes have been scheduled for February 5, 7, 12, 13 and 14 if no agreements are met before then.
The Melbourne rally’s main organiser, 24-year-old Mark O’Driscoll from Cork, told the Irish Mirror, “I qualified two and a half years ago. I planned on staying longer but I got fed up with things at home.
“The way nursing has gone in Ireland is beyond a joke at this stage. It’s a ticking time bomb.
“There’s huge workloads put on nurses, you don’t realise it until you leave, you think it is normal when you are at home, you get used to it but it’s not until you come to Australia, you see the grass is greener and things are better.”
He explained that many of the nurses taking part in the Melbourne rally had arrived straight from working long shifts or during their breaks, while many also travelled for hours to get there.
— Irish Nurses & Midwives Organisation (@INMO_IRL) January 28, 2019
Another rally was held outside the Sydney Opera House earlier this month, where more than 250 nurses came together to show support for the 35,000 nurses in Ireland preparing to strike.
Mark added, “To all our colleagues at home, everyone here in Melbourne is right behind you and will continue to be. If we were at home, we would be on the picket line. At the moment, they are our voice.”