Owning the National Maternity Hospital


Sir, – Gifting any hospital built with public funds to a religious order does not make economic sense. Putting a maternity hospital in the hands of a religious order with a documented history of abusing women and children is irresponsible. – Yours, etc,


The Coombe,

Dublin 8.

Sir , – If the Sisters of Charity were true to their name they would simply give the plot of land at St Vincent’s needed for the National Maternity Hospital. But power is more important than charity, it seems. – Yours, etc,



Co Cork.

Sir, – What is Fine Gael thinking? The Sisters of Charity do not meet the standards to which they held others to account over the years. By failing to contribute to the redress scheme, they have shown contempt for this State and its people. – Is mise,


Dublin 17.

Sir, – Minister for Health Simon Harris tells us the church will have no control over how treatments are carried out at the National Maternity Hospital but he cannot say how he knows that.

No medical centre in Ireland, or any modern country, in 2017 should have any religious ethos. The only guiding principle should be to provide each patient with the care they need. A patient’s religious ethos is their own personal choice and they can refuse treatment only for themselves based on their own conscience; not the conscience of the person providing the treatment after they have checked with a nun or priest.

To think in 2017, after all the abuse this order of nuns inflicted on generations of children, that we would hand it any say at all in the running of maternity hospital almost beggars belief until you realise we’re talking about Ireland. – Yours, etc,


Canary Wharf,


Sir, – I want to object in the strongest possible terms to the ownership of the new NMH on the St Vincent’s site being granted to the Sisters of Charity.

The narrow, outmoded Catholic diktats on sexual and reproductive matters have no place in modern maternity services, and are widely ignored in Europe and North America.

To grant control via ownership of a new maternity hospital to a religious order is a retrograde step which would result in the denial of certain services and procedures to women.

If the nuns want to have an input into the running of the new NMH, I suggest they offer their services as unpaid laundry assistants, cleaners, and kitchen porters, thus giving themselves an opportunity for atonement for the sins of the Magdalene laundries and industrial schools of the past. – Yours, etc,


Dublin 7.

Sir, – “Has everyone forgotten that it was the religious orders who ran the hospitals and the education of this country before the State took over,” Sheila Deegan asks (April 20th). But would the Catholic Church of Archbishop McQuaid, etc, have allowed anyone else in Ireland to do the job? – Yours, etc,


Dublin 7.

Sir, – Why is it called the National Maternity Hospital if the nuns are in control? – Yours, etc,




Sir, – The State says the Sisters of Charity have to be involved in the new maternity hospital, as they own the land on which it is to be built, and given the urgent need for a new hospital, there is no time to look for a new site. Magdalene survivors’ groups object to the involvement of this organisation in a maternity hospital, and point to the fact that they have yet to pay the monies they had committed to paying under the Government’s redress scheme. Surely the answer is simple? The State confiscates the lands in question from the order of nuns in lieu of their contributions to the redress scheme and proceeds to build the maternity hospital. – Yours, etc,



Co Galway.

Sir, – Why didn’t the National Maternity Hospital negotiators buy or lease the site from the Sisters of Charity on which to build the proposed new hospital? The Department of Health should be called to appear before the Oireachtas health committee to explain why and how such a poor business deal was transacted. – Yours, etc,



Co Dublin.

Sir, – As it is mainly young couples of childbearing age who will be buying new houses on the periphery of the city, perhaps the National Maternity Hospital should be built beside the National Children’s Hospital. Not enough room? Build them both on a greenfield site to the west of Dublin. Maybe on State-owned land in Blanchardstown? No issues of ownership or governance, then. You know it makes sense. – Yours, etc,



Co Carlow.

Sir, – I read with dismay that the Sisters of Charity are to be given “sole ownership” of the new National Maternity Hospital – the same order that ran the dreadful institution I lived in (Madonna House in Blackrock) and the same nuns that managed Magdalene laundries across Ireland. Have we learned nothing? It is disgraceful and another huge slap in the face for survivors.

Can someone please separate the church and state in Ireland? There is no place for church involvement in our healthcare and education systems. If people still want to practise Catholicism than they are free to do so, but this State and its elected officials are there to look after everyone in the State. Never again should we allow the church to have such control.

Can someone please tell me this is just a nightmare, and I have woken up in 2017 in a modern republic where the grip of the church is a thing of the past?– Yours, etc,



Dublin 22.