Nuns' maternity hospital land 'tied up with loans'
Agreement with religious orders is not legally finalised - dealmaker
The Sisters of Charity cannot hand over the land on which the new National Maternity Hospital will be built to the State because it is tied up in financial and legal agreements, mediator Kieran Mulvey has said.
His comments follow the ongoing public row over the State's decision to build the €300m hospital on the St Vincent's Hospital campus on land which automatically makes the Sisters of Charity the owners of the facility. It has led to repeated calls on the religious order to simply give the site to the State, removing the concerns about the impact the Catholic ethos might have on services.
However, Mr Mulvey, who was privy to private details of the St Vincent's Healthcare Group during the six months of negotiations, told the Irish Independent it is not possible to cede ownership of the land at this stage.
"They have other loans. They have other considerations. There is the campus as a whole. The campus would lose value if a particular section at the centre of it was not under the current ownership arrangement. There are large borrowings by the St Vincent's Healthcare Group which will have to be met," he said.