Who owns the National Maternity Hospital?

 

Sir, –Ireland has proved that it is beyond parody. The religious order which owes millions to the survivors of abuse in Magdalene laundries was given the gift of a maternity hospital. Naturally the Government says it can do nothing to prevent this. It expects us to accept its ineffectual handwringing as evidence that it tried.

Of course there are the usual assurances that the hospital will be free of interference, but how can this be when the owner invariably calls the shots? – Yours, etc,

ANNE-MARIE LYONS,

Bray,

Co Wicklow.

Sir, – The news that our National Maternity Hospital will be under new ownership by the Sisters of Charity has left myself and many others with a sinking feeling in the pit of the stomach.

Hybridising church and state is a precarious course of action in any circumstance. Regardless of the amount of influence this new ownership will have on the National Maternity Hospital, this is still nothing short of atrocious. The Sisters of Charity order has refused to contribute properly to the State redress for victims of the Magdalene laundries.

The Sisters of Charity managed laundries as well as industrial schools where abuse was reported.

In my experience our National Maternity Hospital on Holles Street has provided fantastic healthcare, carried out by dedicated staff. To think this wonderful facility will have a shadow cast over it by a new ownership body so evocative of painful memories and injury to innocents is odious. Are we really moving backwards as a nation? How can this be allowed?

Question this move, speak out and write to your TDs. Please let it be known that giving ownership of our esteemed maternity hospital to such an outfit is offensive, crude and a slap in the face to those directly affected by the hands of those who were once a part of this very congregation. – Yours, etc,

HANNAH LOUGHLIN

Walkinstown,

Dublin 12.

Sir, – Why the outrage about the nuns getting a share of the ownership of the National Maternity Hospital? They own St Vincent’s.

Has everyone forgotten that it was the religious orders who ran the hospitals and the education of this country before the State took over.

Thousands of priests, nuns and brothers gave their lives to the service of the poor, and not so poor, and many still do.

They worked for free, beyond the call of duty.

And now, as thanks, all they get is abuse because a few of their number abused their positions. It’s time to say thanks and recognise their enormous contribution to Ireland, rich and poor. They will never ask this for themselves. – Yours, etc,

SHEILA DEEGAN,

Dublin 3.