Plan B for National Maternity Hospital

Sir, – "Tallaght and Blanchardstown under consideration for maternity hospital" (News, June 24th).

Given the ongoing controversy going back years, why was there never a “Plan B” before now? – Yours, etc,




Co Wicklow.

A chara, – In a young republic, we are all children of the State. Our first century has not realised the promise of cherishing all of our children equally, but we must not give up.

This next century sees a new National Maternity Hospital where many of the State’s grandchildren will be cared for and many born. Any loving grandparent will tell you that they made their mistakes on their children and are indulging their grandchildren with all their love and care in their wiser, more mature years. If the mistakes foisted on our children include allowing the entanglement of Church and State institutions, of degrading women and pregnant people to vessels of shame and reproduction, then we must acknowledge those by not foisting them on our grandchildren. In a young republic, we can become wiser and kinder if we listen to all our children.

A secular, publicly owned National Maternity Hospital is the very least that the grandchildren of Ireland deserve. – Is mise,



Dublin 16.

Sir, – The proposal to build the new maternity hospital in Blanchardstown or Tallaght makes perfect sense. If the same sense had been applied to the new children’s hospital, being built in the most constricted site possible, the money saved would have covered the cost of both. – Yours, etc,



Co Meath.

Sir, – It occurred to me, while reading about the debacle over the ownership of the proposed National Maternity Hospital site, isn’t it almost a pleasure to be getting back to complaining about the confusions of our glorious decision makers (eight years to discover that not owning the site of an €800 million public investment is unacceptable to the actual taxpayers), rather than reading wall-to-wall of the doom and gloom of Covid for the last 18 months or so.

Almost a pleasure. And sorry about the very long sentence. – Yours, etc,



Co Carlow.

Sir, – To read most of the recent correspondence in relation to this issue, one would get the impression that the Sisters of Charity were the devil incarnate.

Not an order of nuns who established the first hospital in Ireland for the poor and destitute.

We live in strange times indeed. – Yours, etc,



Co Meath.

A chara, – I cannot recall the number of prominent people who have, in my lifetime, asserted that the Constitution prohibits any radical action being taken on the ownership of private property. It was used to deflect any demands for the use of empty property to house the homeless in the days of the Dublin Housing Action Committee. It was used against the idea of abolishing ground rents and is now being used to deflect any demand for a compulsory purchase order on the site of the new maternity hospital.

Dr Peter Boylan is just the most recent person to state publicly that a CPO for the site would run foul of the Constitution.

I cannot think of a more effective way of refuting this mistaken belief than in publicising in your esteemed publication exactly what Article 43 provides.

At the beginning of Article 43, it does clearly state the right to private property and guarantees to pass no law abolishing this right. It goes on, however, to assert that “The State recognises, however, that the exercise of the rights mentioned in the foregoing provisions ought, in civil society, be regulated by the principles of social justice. The State accordingly may, as occasion requires, demit by law the exercise of the said rights with a view to reconciling their exercise with the exigencies of the common good”.

I cannot think of a more worthy cause for the State to demit the law than the safe provision of maternity services to the women of Ireland, a service provided in accordance with medical need and not religious belief. That this would come “within the exigencies of the common good” is, to my mind, inarguable. – Is mise,


Dublin 3.