Sunday 23 July 2017

In the name of God, we cannot let this maternity deal collapse , this maternity deal can not collapse

Commercial realities, not Catholic ethos, may be the real stumbling block to securing the hospital's future

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
Dearbhail McDonald

Dearbhail McDonald

The narrative of the Religious Sisters of Charity embarking on a naked power grab to take control of the State's largest maternity hospital in a bid to control Irish women's reproductive autonomy is a potent one.

Our collective reaction to the prospect of the nuns, the owners of the St Vincent's University Hospital Group (SVHG), imposing its Catholic ethos on Irish women while refusing to pay its share of a redress scheme for institutional abuse is real and visceral. And it is entirely understandable in the wake of Church scandals such as the discovery of the remains of babies and small children in septic tanks at a former mother and babies home in Tuam.

However, I wonder if the real reason why the SVHG insisted on the National Maternity Hospital coming under its control was less to do with Catholic ethos and more to do with its toxic relationship with the HSE and its €150m debts.

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