Taxpayers will get the benefit of 28 acres of prime Dublin 4 land as the Religious Sisters of Charity receive exactly €1 for gifting lands in the city worth at least €200m.
The lands, which the Sisters announced last week they were gifting to the Irish people, are the sites of several important hospitals including St Vincent's.
The €200m estimate is based on the value of the land alone and does not include any assets built on the land, which would make the gift much more valuable.
The congregation will receive exactly €1 for land at Elm Park, incorporating St Vincent's University Hospital and St Vincent's Private Hospital, as well as over three acres at St Michael's Hospital in Dún Laoghaire.
It will receive the nominal sum from a new body called St Vincent's Holdings CLG when the nuns transfer their shareholding in St Vincent's Healthcare Group to the company, which will be registered with the Charities Regulator as a not-for-profit company with charitable status governed by Irish Company Law.
The Religious Sisters of Charity (RSC) are the sole shareholders of St Vincent's Healthcare Group.
The Irish Independent has learned that the wording of the Vatican's Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life's approval granted the Irish nuns "permission to transfer the entire issued share capital of St Vincent's Healthcare Group to St Vincent's Holding for the nominal sum of €1".
The document states: "Permission granted."
This approval enables the nuns to move forward with the transfer of their ownership of St Vincent's Healthcare Group site to St Vincent's Holdings CLG.
The RSC congregation said they "will not be involved in any way" in the new independent entity, St Vincent's Holdings CLG, and therefore they could not comment on its future structure regarding directors and management.
Meanwhile, the new National Maternity Hospital at Elm Park will be "a special-purpose company which will be set up under the auspices of the 2016 Mulvey agreement to ensure a single system of clinical and operational governance on the Elm Park campus", a spokesperson for St Vincent's Healthcare Group said.
The RSC also stressed the new hospital would not be subject to the Catholic Church's canon law as claimed by some commentators last week following their announcement they had secured Vatican agreement for the alienation of the land.
The Government has said the announcement by the congregation and the Vatican approval removed "any remaining concerns" that there could be a religious influence at the new National Maternity Hospital.
"All matters relating to St Vincent's Holdings CLG including structure, directors and management should be directed to St Vincent's Healthcare Group," a spokesperson for the Religious Sisters of Charity said.
St Vincent's Healthcare Group confirmed the nuns would have no role in the new holding company. "The RSC are transferring their shares in St Vincent's Healthcare Group to St Vincent's Holdings CLG (SVH CLG) therefore the RSC will not have any input or control over the management or operations of St Vincent's Holdings CLG, St Vincent's Healthcare Group and its hospitals," it said.
As a holding company, the oversight role of St Vincent's Holdings CLG is, according to St Vincent's, to advance healthcare by promoting medical education, medical research and patient care in all areas of medicine through St Vincent's Healthcare Group and its hospitals.
According to St Vincent's Healthcare Group (SVHG), as detailed in the Mulvey agreement of November 2016, the new National Maternity Hospital at Elm Park will have clinical and operational independence from other hospitals in the group.