‘We’ve been down this road before with religious’
DR Peter Boylan told Morning Ireland he was concerned about the deal for three reasons.
‘The hospital will be 100% owned by the sisters of Charity,’ he said. ‘The second concern is that the Sisters of Charity will be the sole owners of the company set up to run the hospital and the third concern is the board structure.’
Referring to comments by a Religious Sisters of Charity nun in The Irish Times, he said: ‘I think the point about full independence and so on has been really been exposed by Sister Agnes and her comments.’
She had declined to comment on whether or not the Catholic ethos her congregation espouses would influence clinical decisions at the new maternity hospital.
‘It would appear that she is speaking on behalf of the National Maternity Hospital as part of the St Vincent’s Hospital healthcare group,’ he said.
‘She was asked about whether or not the congregation would influence medical care provided, she said she can’t make a judgement on that.
‘We have been down this road before with the religious and the whole area of mental reservation.
‘What she probably means is we can’t make a judgement on that now but wait until the hospital is built and then we will make a judgement call.
‘This would make the new hospital the first hospital in the world… effectively run by a company which is owned by the Catholic Church to allow things like IVF, sterilisation, abortion, gender reassignment surgery, etc.
‘This would be absolutely unique in the world and it is just not credible.
‘The nuns need to be asked explicitly by the Minister because it’s his responsibility he’s the one who can sort this thing out.’
He said he fully supported the widely acknowledged need for a new hospital, adding that the Elm Park proposal is ‘a superb design but it’s just unacceptable for the State, our money to be given to the Sisters of Charity to build a hospital. ‘It is just not on.’ And he pointed out, ‘The state is investing €300million of your money and my money in a new maternity hospital.’