Correspondence on new National Maternity Hospital ownership must be published

10 May 2020

Labour Party Leader and Health spokesperson, Alan Kelly TD, has said serious questions remain over the governance of the proposed new National Maternity Hospital and has called for all correspondence to be published regarding the proposed transfer of the land.

Deputy Kelly said:

“Since 2016, I have been calling for clarity on the ownership of the proposed New National Maternity Hospital, and while the decision by the Sisters of Charity to transfer ownership of the land is significant, more questions need to be answered on the future governance of the new National Maternity Hospital.

“I fully support the interventions by Dr.Peter Boylan this weekend, that women’s health has to be at the centre of care at the new National Maternity Hospital. His views have continued to be invaluable contribution to this extremely important national conversation.

“I believe there are a number concerns regarding the recent statement that from the Sisters of Charity it’s that they have received permission from the Vatican to transfer ownership of the land to the state. The transfer of land will be to a body to be called St Vincent’s Holdings CLG.

“It is quite unusual for the Vatican to agree to the ‘alienation’ or transfer of property or lands into a completely secular body. I welcome it if that’s what transpires but it’s not something that the Vatican has any tradition of doing.

“The new National Maternity Hospital will be a subsidiary of of St Vincent’s Holdings CLG. The Sisters of Charity and St Vincent’s need to publish the correspondence between themselves and the Vatican. We need to be assured that the land and the buildings of the new National Maternity Hospital will be owned by the State, and the only way of knowing this for sure is if the correspondence is published.

“We need to be assured that within the governance structure no roadblocks will be put up to providing medical treatments such as fertility treatments and abortion care.

“I won’t be satisfied until we get some more transparency and detail about what role the Vatican and Sisters of Charity foresee themselves playing in St Vincent’s Holdings CLG, what land they exactly intend to transfer to this new body and their future involvement in any elements of private medical practices that may be co-located on the site.

“Real questions on the State’s future role in this need to be answered and the relationship the State will have with St Vincent’s Holdings CLG. If we don’t see that the State will have a say in the governance of a state of the art, tax-payer funded maternity hospital, then we are back to square one on the very real issues at the core of the long-running concerns around this project.”

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