A BISHOP is at loggerheads with the HSE over moving statues.
The Bishop of Kerry yesterday criticised the recent removal of a statue from a healthcare facility in Killarney, Co Kerry, as a "retrograde step".
Dr Bill Murphy also called on the HSE to explain its position on the celebration of Mass in hospitals and on the erection of Christmas cribs in light of the removal.
Dr Murphy was speaking after the HSE took down a large Sacred Heart statue over the entrance to Killarney Community Hospital last week.
"The patients . . . are elderly and such symbols of their faith were a source of comfort and consolation to them," Dr Murphy said.
"I believe this was a very retrograde step and one that will not benefit patients or staff."
But the HSE was at pains last night to deny that the removal of statues in Killarney would be replicated at healthcare facilities elsewhere, and promised the Sacred Heart one would be returned after renovation.
"The statue -- which itself has been treated with the utmost respect -- is more than 70 years old and, with the recent months of adverse weather conditions, a decision was taken to remove the statue from over the front door of the hospital," a HSE south spokesman said.
"The HSE is restoring the statue and it will be relocated, later this week or early next week."