Owning the National Maternity Hospital


Sir, – One cannot but be impressed by the status of the signatories of the letter (Letters, June 28th) from medical consultants in which they express their conviction that all obstetric services permitted by law will be allowed at the proposed new National Maternity Hospital.

I can only hope that their knowledge of canon law is such that they can explain to us how a religious congregation of nuns can facilitate those medical procedures that are so repugnant to their Catholic ethos.

Until we hear an unambiguous statement from a representative of the Sisters of Charity with regard to the restrictions, if any, that they and their church would place on such medical procedures at the new hospital, we will continue to have very serious doubts about what the future holds.

Such a statement must of course be devoid of any mental reservations if it is to deserve our trust.

If a faith group found blood transfusions, for instance, repugnant to their system of belief, I would like to think that the State would not fund the building and running costs of a hospital under the control of such a group.

– Yours, etc,


Dublin 14.

Sir, – In response to the letter signed by the consultants of the National Maternity Hospital and with the greatest of respect to their medical expertise and good intentions, I have to ask how the women of Ireland could possibly be expected to trust legal reassurances from a Government that refuses to implement the Safe Access Zone legislation in its own programme for government to protect us from the abuse and distress of the religious protesters currently outside our hospitals and health care facilities?

This is indeed a matter of faith, and after generations of abuse, misogyny, and broken promises, we have none.

– Yours, etc,