Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD, Sinn Féin spokesperson for Gaeilge, Gaeltacht, Arts and Culture, has welcomed the growing momentum behind the campaign to name the new National Children’s Hospital in honour of the party’s former Vice-President and TD from 1923-1927, Dr. Kathleen Lynn; the only female commandant of the Easter Rising.
The Sinn Féin TD who represents the Dublin South Central constituency where the hospital is situated said:
“It is great to see more and more support for naming the new children’s hospital after pioneering medic, suffragette and 1916 hero Dr. Kathleen Lynn.
“For the best part of a decade, Sinn Féin has been actively campaigning for this move, and we reiterate that call today.
“Since 2013, I have personally written to three Ministers for Health – James Reilly, Leo Varadkar, and Simon Harris – to seek their support for this campaign.
“It is heartening, if not also somewhat bemusing, to see members of Fianna Fáil in particular becoming vocal champions for this cause of late, given that their party voted against my own proposal to name the hospital after Dr. Lynn in 2018.
“Had my amendment to the Children’s Health Bill been adopted, the hospital would be officially named as the Kathleen Lynn National Children’s Hospital. Unfortunately, the decision of Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael TDs to vote against the move at the time has robbed elected politicians of the chance to decide the name, leaving the final say instead in the hands of the unelected hospital board.
“This is the most expensive hospital in world history, and certainly one of the most expensive pieces of infrastructure in the history of this State. It is fitting that the State should use this opportunity to give recognition to an inspirational woman who played a pivotal role fighting for our freedom, as well as a seminal role founding a children’s hospital in St. Ultan’s and introducing the BCG vaccine to Ireland. Her legacy lives on in the countless people alive today because of its success in combatting tuberculosis.
“I was privileged to attend the unveiling of a painting in Leinster House celebrating Kathleen Lynn’s significance in our history; a symbol of all the women who were not only written out of history, but whose stories were in many cases never written in to begin with. There is appreciation for Dr. Lynn not only across parties in the Dáil, but among historians, medics and wider society.
“What is needed now is for Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly to put the words of his Fianna Fáil colleagues into action and bring pressure to bear on the hospital board to adopt the name of Dr. Kathleen Lynn once and for all.”