Hundreds of people participated in the rally demanding full public ownership
Hundreds took part in a rally at Leinster House, calling on the government to reject the current plan to develop the new National Maternity Hospital (NMH) on privately owned land, meant to be fully owned by the state. Was.
Opponents of the plan, set to go before cabinet for approval on Tuesday, continue to raise concerns about possible outside interference in the hospital’s operations despite assurances from the master of the NMH, the government and St Vincent Healthcare Group (SVHG).
Under the plan, the Sisters of Charity has transferred their stake to SVHG, which will lease the land on which the new NMH is proposed to be built for 299 years.
Peter Boylan, a former master of the NMH and a frequent critic of the deal, told the protest that it was the “greatest foolishness” for the government to agree to the deal without looking at all correspondence between the archdiocese, the religious order. Dublin and the Vatican.
“I would like to issue a challenge to the Catholic Church to confirm that they have agreed to transfer the Sisters’ property for the construction of a hospital in Dublin that will facilitate procedures that are directly contrary to Catholic teaching.
“I won’t hold my breath. His [the Vatican’s] The technique is to say nothing, deny, block, issue vague comments and statements, etc. This is a well worn way. They have been at it for 2,000 years,” he told a crowd of about 1,000.
Current master Shane Higgins said this week he was “concerned by a combination of emotional misinformation and misunderstanding” in discussions about the new hospital.
In a press briefing on Friday, Mr Higgins said the new NMH would have no religious ethos.
“We do not believe that any Catholic ethos, or any other ethos for that matter, will have any effect on the services provided through this medium.”
Government sources confirmed that a legal code is underway that will clarify a statement in the documents that says procedures will be available in hospital where “medically appropriate and legally permissible”.
Mr Higgins said the NMH would support either defining the term “medically appropriate” or removing it.
Taoiseach Micheal Martin said on Saturday that the government was indebted to the women and newborns of Ireland, now and in the future, for building the NMH.
He said there was already clarity about what legally permissible services would be available in the hospital. He said the hospital’s operating license from HSE “guarantees that”.
Furthermore, “the hospital’s constitution is very strong with regard to ensuring without question that all legally permissible services shall be available in the hospital”.
Earlier, further and higher education minister Simon Harris suggested additional codicils would be “welcomed” as a way of reassuring opponents.
He said the recent debate about site ownership “has been very useful” in channeling the issues surrounding the agreement between hospital owners St Vincent Holdings CLG and the state.
Asked whether such a legal code should be added to the agreement, Mr Harris said any clarifications and assurances the government could provide would be welcome.
Speaking in Dublin on Saturday, Mr Harris said: “I think the government will now consider all the important issues that people have raised, especially the phrase ‘medically appropriate’.
“It was always a phrase meant to show that the National Maternity Hospital would be just that – a maternity hospital. But I think any additional clarification or assurance that the government can provide when it makes a decision on Tuesday will be by many. will be welcomed.
“The government is listening, the government will think. I want to see the progress of this project, I really do, and I expect a decision to be made on Tuesday. Between now and then we will consider how we can provide the highest level of assurance. ,
On Friday, Green Party minister Katherine Martin voiced her support for the transfer to the new NMH for the first time.
In a statement, Ms Martin said she had received assurances from Health Minister Stephen Donnelly, NMH, HSE and SVHG.
In a letter sent to Ms. Martin by St. Vincent’s Hospital, the President, James Menton, confirmed in writing that the following procedures would be available at the new NMH: “termination of pregnancy, voluntarily sterilization (tubal ligation), gender confirmation care, fertility potential and assisted in human fertility treatments.”