The audience attending the meeting to discuss the closure of the Breast Cancer Clinic at Craigavon Hospital.

There was a large turnout for a meeting to discuss the implications of a proposed closure of the  Breast Diagnostic Centre at Craigavon Area Hospital. It has been proposed to reduce this service  that will mean the closure of the breast cancer clinic at Craigavon Area Hospital and Belfast City Hospital. The audience heard recounts from several women who have unfortunately had to use the service and it was stressed time and time again how the removal of this service at CAH would greatly increase the hardships associated with breast cancer. 

The meeting was organised by Jacqueline Donnelly who invited Joanne Harris from the Knitted Knockers, a group that specialise in  handmade breast prosthesis for women who have undergone mastectomies or other procedures to the breast. Knitted Knockers are also currently gathering a petition with the aim of initiating a debate at Westminster  surrounding this closure. This petition requires 100,000 signatures to enable this debate to take place. Joanne Harris urged people to sign the petition and for groups to take the petition onboard and highlight it. 

Anyone looking to sign this petition can do so at Sherry Field Sports Complex. The consortium has along with other groups, agreed  to highlight and promote this petition. Other outlets for signing are available throughout the city. Check social media for details.

Joanne Harris from Knitted Knockers addressing the audience, also standing Jacqueline Donnelly who organised the meeting
It was noted that the meeting was very light on male participation, something stressed by Cllr,Garath Keating who was one of a small number of men who attended. Cllr Keating also spoke saying that although the figure of male breast cancer diagnosis is small, nonetheless this issue is not exclusively a woman's issue and should not be viewed as such. He added  that women diagnosed with breast cancer are partners, sisters and mothers of men and the impact of this closure will be felt throughout the community.