November 22, 2019
Harris must ensure National Maternity Hospital is free from religious influence – Louise O’Reilly TD

Sinn Fein Health spokesperson Louise O’Reilly TD has called on the Minister for Health and the government to consider a Compulsory Purchase Order of the land at St Vincent’s Hospital for the new National Maternity Hospital, to counter the attempts of the Vatican and the Catholic Church to influence and interfere with the project.

Teachta O’Reilly said:

“It is over two years now since the Dáil passed a Sinn Féin motion calling for the new National Maternity Hospital to remain entirely within public ownership with legally guaranteed independence from all non-medical influence in its clinical operations.

“It is ridiculous that we now face the possibility that the building of the hospital or its operations could be influenced and interfered with by the Catholic Church.

“It is the position of the Dáil that the National Maternity Hospital be owned and operated by the State and will be shaped only by modern medical standards and principles and that needs to be upheld.

“Religious faith is important for many, many people across this State, and it is an important factor for them in our society. However, there is no space for religious influence from any quarter in our healthcare policy, especially women’s healthcare.

“If it is a case that the Vatican blocks the transfer of land at St Vincent’s for the new National Maternity Hospital, or if there is attempted religious interference with the project, then the government must consider a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) of the land in order to proceed with the construction of the hospital.”

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