Skibbereen Mayor Frank Fahy makes his point at the last meeting.

FOLLOWING on from September’s public meeting which was attended by more than 700 people at the West Cork Hotel, Skibbereen, the West Cork SOS campaign has been officially launched.

The aim of the campaign is to retain the four ambulances currently based in West Cork at nighttime in Castletownbere, Skibbereen, Bantry and Clonakilty.

The HSE has announced plans to replace the Skibbereen and Castletownbere ambulances with rapid response cars (which cannot carry patients) between 8pm and 8am and the Minor Injuries Assessment Unit in Bantry General Hospital is also due to close during the same hours from January 2012.

Skibbereen Mayor, Frank Fahy is Chairman of the group and he is joined on the committee by George Vladisavljevic (vice chairman); Delia Van Hemmen (joint secretary); Emma Challacombe (joint secretary); Karen Coakley (joint treasurer) and Linda Carroll (joint treasurer).

A request was also sent out to all community and town councils to join the group and provide representation as Regional Liaison Officers on the campaign committee.

A website, has been set up as a central information hub and an online petition has also been launched. has also set up a dedicated section with all the latest news on the campaign.

The next public meeting is scheduled for the West Cork Hotel, Skibbereen on October 25th at 8pm.