What a country this has become. A child in Cork falls out of window and is badly injured. A motorist comes on the scene immediately and calls 999 emergency, only to be told there was no ambulance available and to pop the toddler into his car and take him to a local medical clinic.
He could hardly believe he was instructed to disregard the danger of moving a head-injured casualty in this way, potentially increasing the danger.
Off to the clinic, where we go if we get the sniffles and in need of mild medication etc, before going to our own doctor in the morning.
The service is not for serious problems like the young boy was undergoing. The driver and father of the boy were sent away from the clinic and arrived at the hospital after all the delays and left the doctors to deal with the traumatic event.
Sadly, the little boy died the next day and whether he could not have been saved in the first instance is not the point.
It is the indignity and hurt of a family member being simply a statistic and not an emergency, which is all too commonplace in the uncaring society Ireland has become.
No ambulance available to rush to a child in terrible trouble. So sad.
Contrast this with the news that in the same week, our so called government handed over $2.5 million (€2m) for relief to the rescuers of the collapsed building in Bangladesh, to do with what they wish, presumably.
Where is the thinking behind these grand gestures with taxpayers money while we have a shambles of a medical organisation and so many Irish citizens are living in dire poverty?
Primark, Tesco, and the rest of the respectable billionaires who made fortunes off the sweat of those dollar-a-day dead workers, will no doubt thank the Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Enda Kenny for being so generous.
Somewhere in the ranks of Irish politics, there is the notion that throwing money all over the world, garners much valued religious indulgences.
Be that as it may, this huge amount of aid sent off without a thought, could buy many ambulances, and tragedies including the loss of other boys might be avoided.
Rest in peace, little fellow.
Robert Sullivan is an Irish freelance writer based in Cork.
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