Home Irish Showbiz Grainne Gallanagh slams the Irish government for voting against paying student nurses

Grainne Gallanagh slams the Irish government for voting against paying student nurses

The model returned to work as a nurse earlier this year


Grainne Gallanagh has slammed the Irish government for voting against paying student nurses and midwives.

Earlier this week, Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and the Green Party voted against the Solidarity-People Before Profit (PBP) motion – causing uproar on social media.

The motion called for the immediate reinstatement of payment for student nurses and midwives who are in placements during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Reacting to the vote on her Instagram Story, Grainne said: “So, really, really disappointed that the Government voted against paying student nurses.”

“They basically said that there’s not enough money to do that, even though they’ll accept multiple pay rises for themselves…”

The former Miss Universe Ireland is particularly passionate about the subject, as she bravely returned to work as a nurse earlier this year, in order to help those on the frontline.

Grainne also called out another decision by the government, which she described as a “kick in the teeth”.

The 25-year-old said: “I have to get this off my chest, I’m sorry, it’s just another kick in the teeth… So every year, nurses have to pay a €100 retention fee, which basically means if they don’t pay that fee they can get kicked off the register and they’re not allowed to practice as a nurse in Ireland.”

“And this year, they’ve sent the fee, they’ve sent the bill. So, we’ve all got a letter to say that we need to pay our fee, and ugh, I just… I’m actually trying to keep my composure but I’m struggling.”

“It’s just beyond belief that after everything the nurses in this country have done this last year, putting themselves on the frontline… it is such a kick in the teeth that they would expect the nurses to pay their retention fee this year. It’s just so disheartening.”

Grainne joked: “Remember when the nursing staff were getting a round of applause for working through coronavirus rather than a pay raise? Ehm, I think that’s what we’ll do now, we will just give a round of applause instead of paying our retention fee…”

The model then shared a mock video of herself clapping, and wrote: “We hope this round of applause suffices xx.”

Grainne joins a host of well-known faces who have spoken out about the Government’s decision not to pay student nurses and midwives.

Student nurses and midwives in Ireland are not paid for placements during their first three years of practice, and can only receive an allowance of €50 per week.

However when Covid-19 hit Ireland earlier this year, putting our healthcare system under intense pressure, student nurses were offered temporary contracts at €14 per hour – but the pay was later withdrawn.

The motion put forward by Solidarity – People Before Profit would have restored this payment, but the motion was defeated by 77 votes to 72.

On Thursday, podcaster and performer Blindboy Boatclub tweeted: “Pay student nurses ye absolute b*****ds.”

Singer Erica Cody also reacted to the news on Twitter, writing: “F***ING PAY NURSES & MIDWIVES .. how is this s**t still going on.. greyhound racing gets more funding!?. DISGUSTING.”

Social media star and presenter James Kavanagh shared his outrage on Twitter too, and wrote: “I always found the claps / candles shit performative and patronising. A fair wage seems way more gorge?”

“Considering the zillions being pulled from nowhere for TD wage boosts & greyhound racing, it’s not as if it can’t be afforded. Priorities ✨.”