Friday 20 October 2017

Colette Brown: Public protest only reason nuns won't own maternity hospital

St Vincent’s University Hospital in south Dublin, where the new National Maternity Hospital will be built. Photo: Niall Carson/PA
St Vincent’s University Hospital in south Dublin, where the new National Maternity Hospital will be built. Photo: Niall Carson/PA
Colette Browne

Colette Browne

The decision by the Order of the Sisters of Charity to relinquish control of the St Vincent's Healthcare Group (SVHG) is a victory for protesters - and an indictment of the Government.

Health Minister Simon Harris yesterday dubbed the decision by the order to cut ties to the hospital group it set up nearly 200 years ago as "truly historic", and he was right.

But the Government wasn't an actor in the making of this history. In fact, it was perfectly content with the status quo. Instead, the main protagonists in this seismic decision were the tens of thousands of ordinary men and women around the country who reacted with visceral anger to the blasé announcement the State was about to gift an order of nuns ownership of a new €300m maternity hospital.

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