Looking back... Whiteabbey Hospital campaigners appeal for support

Local doctors and Carrickfergus Borough Council were accused of “trying to do a private deal” with the Northern Health Board to save the town’s Cottage Hospital in March 1979.

The allegation was made by Whiteabbey Hospital Action Group, which called on Carrick to join forces with its members.

A spokesman said: “Carrick seems to think it has a hotline to Lord Melchett in Dundonald House. They appear to believe they can do a private deal. It is just not on.

“Carrick has an almost impossible case to present. The board is to close Carrick Hospital. I do not think keeping it open is an option.”

Carrick’s deputy mayor, Charles Johnston said: “We are fully behind Whiteabbey and their fight for their hospital.

“Carrick has a strong case to make and local GPs have come down very strongly behind the council and have agreed that Carrick will most likely not have an emergency unit but they want to see the small local casualty service and small maternity unit at least.”

Town clerk, Raymond Boyd said the council had to consider which facilities a community hospital could provide.