Kieran Mulvey appointed mediator in maternity hospital dispute

Simon Harris urges Holles Street and St Vincent’s to ‘work constructively’ to resolve issues

Minister for Health Simon Harris has appointed Kieran Mulvey as mediator in a dispute between St Vincent's Hospital and Holles Street governance structures of the National Maternity Hospital.

Mr Harris met the two sides today and informed them of his decision to appoint the chairman of the Workplace Relations Commission.

A dispute over governance structures that would apply after the NMH ’s planned move from Holles Street to the St Vincent’s campus has delayed the lodging of a planning application for the €150 million project.

The NMH wants to retain a separate board and an obstetrician/master as chief executive. St Vincent’s wants both hospitals run by the same board, on which the maternity hospital would have two seats.


Mr Harris told The Irish Times: “Ireland needs a new national maternity hospital. Expectant mothers and their children deserve no less.

“Funds have been set aside for the delivery of the project and I really want to see this progress.

“In initiating a new mediation process I am urging both hospitals to work constructively to resolve and outstanding issues.”

Mr Harris met both sides in Government Buildings today following separate meetings with the hospitals last week.

Almost €5 million has already been spent in preparation for the move, despite the fact a planning application has not even been submitted yet.

St Vincent’s chairman Jimmy Menton r has clashed with ex-NMH master Dr Peter Boylan over his claims St Vincent’s could prevent a relocated NMH from providing IVF, sterilisation and other services because of its Catholic ethos, unless it retains control over maternity services.

St Vincent’s is owned by the Religious Sisters of Charity, two of whose members sit on its board. St Vincent’s said claims ethical issues would arise are a “red herring”.