Thursday 17 August 2017

'We need the board to start behaving amicably again' - Holles Street board meet as controversy continues

Long standing: The national maternity hospital at Holles Street in Dublin city centre
Long standing: The national maternity hospital at Holles Street in Dublin city centre

Ryan Nugent

A member of the board of the National Maternity Hospital has said the board need to "start behaving amicably again" ahead of a meeting of the board as the controversy around the planned new hospital continued.

Labour councillor and Lord Mayor of Dublin, Brendan Carr, was speaking ahead of a meeting this evening, where he will try to get the Minister for Health to consider a Compulsary Purchase Order for the land which the hospital is due to be built.

The land, on the Elm Park Campus in Dublin 4, is owned by the Religious Sisters of Charity.

"The first thing we need is for the board to start behaving amicably again and stop calling for each other's resignation," Mr Carr said.

Dr Rhona Mahony. Photo: Arthur Carron
Dr Rhona Mahony. Photo: Arthur Carron

"What I'm trying to do is get the Minister to come on board and consider the CPO.

"I believe if that was to happen and the board supported that, that it would resolve a lot of the concerns and issues many of the public is having over this," he added.

Mr Carr went on to say that he believed the compulsory purchase order would be affordable.

Under the current agreement in place to allow the hospital to move ahead the order of nuns would retain ownership of the land.

However, earlier Minister Harris has already ruled out a CPO of the site.

Critics have hit out at the fact that the order is to have involvement in the hospital but current Master of Holles Street, Rhona Mahony, has insisted that the hospital will be fully independent.

Dr Peter Boylan Picture: Steve Humphreys
Dr Peter Boylan Picture: Steve Humphreys

Meanwhile, Sinn Fein Councillor and fellow board member, Micheal Mac Donncha said his confidence in the agreement.

"Whatever confidence there was and certainly whatever confidence I had in the agreement with St Vincent's Hospital has been undermined," Mr Mac Donncha said.

He also said that a text message exchange between three board members, in which Dr Peter Boylan was asked to resign was "very worrying".

Dr Boylan, who is a former Master of Holles Street and who sits on the board, has been among the most outspoken critic of the plan.

Dublin's Lord Mayor, Cllr Brendan Carr.
Dublin's Lord Mayor, Cllr Brendan Carr.

"What has transpired in relation to the request for the resignation of Dr Peter Boylan, I think that's very worrying," he said.

"I was informed, I wasn't consulted as a member of the board (of this request)," he added.

The position of the new National Maternity Hospital on the St Vincent's campus
The position of the new National Maternity Hospital on the St Vincent's campus

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