National Maternity Hospital controversy


Sir, – I would prefer ownership over safeguards. – Yours, etc,


Terenure, Dublin 6W.

Sir, – Dr Ruairi Hanley (April 28th) makes some very relevant points in his letter.

The religious orders of Ireland did indeed provide an invaluable medical service for many of the poorest in society over much of the past century, as did many members of the teaching orders, notwithstanding the actions of some.

While acknowledging the undoubted selflessness of many of the clergy who dedicated their lives to the care of those less fortunate, the Catholic Church itself did so for two reasons. One, they wanted to extend and consolidate their control over the bodies and minds of the Irish people; and two, they were not only allowed, but encouraged do so by multiple 20th-century governments that completely abrogated their responsibility to the people whom they were supposed to serve.  

Is it not now time for Ireland to look to its future, rather than becoming once again a prisoner of its past? Or will our grandchildren be left with the same legacy in another hundred years? On a personal note, I’m relieved that my Irish-born, New Zealand-resident daughters are growing up in a society where religion plays no part in the healthcare they receive. – Yours, etc,


St Heliers,

Auckland, New Zealand.

Sir, – What a great idea to relocate the National Maternity Hospital to the RTÉ site. It might spur RTÉ to reintroduce the most popular radio programme of the 1950s and 1960s, Hospital Requests. – Yours, etc,


Rossnowlagh, Co Donegal.