21 April 2017

Labour spokesperson on Health, Alan Kelly has slammed Minister Simon Harris’ hypocritical stance on the Sisters of Charity and the National Maternity Hospital. 

“Simon Harris seems to have forgotten about his tirade against the Vincent’s Hospital group at the Public Accounts Committee back in 2013. Back then, Minister Harris rightly criticised Vincent’s Private for using the public hospital, owned by the Sisters of Charity as collateral for loans to build their private facility and a commercial carpark.

“At the time, Minister Harris said this was “appalling”. It seems that Minister Harris has been quick to forget this gross misuse of a state-owned hospital, sanctioned by the Sisters of Charity when granting them sole-ownership of the new National Maternity Hospital.

“Minister Harris knew of this gross misuse of a public hospital and was scandalised at the time, yet here we are three short years later with Minister Harris being very vocal in his defence of the Sisters of Charity having ownership of a new state Hospital.

“Will the Minister be bringing in guidelines to ensure a situation like this does not occur again or will we be dealing with another case of Minister Harris being appalled when the Sisters of Charity allow the Hospital to be used as collateral to build another commercial car park or an extension of Vincent’s Private?

“The decision to give the sole ownership of the National Maternity Hospital to the Sisters of Charity is the wrong one and the people of Ireland are appalled at it, given what has transpired and came to light in relation to how this order behaved.

“The Sisters of Charity have no business in owning any part of a national maternity hospital and should give this land to the state. Why doesn’t the Minister insist on this or take legal action to compulsory take it? If he agrees with the public here are two courses of action available to him. He was outraged at their behaviour three years ago, it’s time he was again and acted accordingly, otherwise he’s practicising hypocrisy!”

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