Friday 23 March 2018

'Lone voice' Boylan quits as 'board is blind to its actions'

Dr Peter Boylan Photo: Laura Hutton/
Dr Peter Boylan Photo: Laura Hutton/

An emotional Dr Peter Boylan, who resigned from the board of the National Maternity Hospital, said he could not remain a member of a body which was so "blind" to its actions.

Dr Boylan bid a sad farewell to his association with the hospital, where he has worked as an obstetrician for decades and served as Master.

In his letter of resignation, he said: "I can't remain a member of a board which is so blind to the consequences of its decision to transfer sole ownership of the hospital to the Sisters of Charity and so deaf to the concerns of the public which it serves.

"I'm a lone voice, more or less, on the board. But not a lone voice in the community or the medical profession. Today on reflection I have decided I am going to resign." He added: "It is the new and the next master of the National Maternity Hospital who will have to pick up the pieces of this decision."

He later told the Irish Independent he was convinced that if the hospital could be built on land not owned by the religious order, it would "free up the whole thing". He said: "I would like to see an agreement made with the Sisters of Charity to hand over the land, obviously for financial consideration, also taking into account the redress board monies due. I think a settlement that would be reasonable to all parties would put this whole issue of democratic control beyond doubt."

The selection of a site for the new hospital had become "almost like an episode of 'Father Ted'," he said.

He added: "It's been said that the nuns are not going to run the hospital - that's absolutely correct. I've never suggested that they would run the hospital, but they own the hospital, the own the company that runs it and they have undue representation on the board."

Dr Boylan is the brother-in-law of the hospital master Dr Rhona Mahony who has championed the move to St Vincent's, saying that she believes the new maternity hospital will have full clinical and operational independence.

Dr Boylan retired as an obstetrician at Holles Street last year.

The National Maternity Hospital board formally accepted the resignation of Dr Boylan.

Chairman of the board Nicholas Kearns told him in a letter: "Without accepting or engaging in any way with the contentions contained in your letter, I wish to express on behalf of the hospital its thanks to you for the many years of excellent professional care.

"I am also saddened that your association with the hospital has ended and wish you every success in the future."

Irish Independent

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