Questions about the maternity hospital must be answered


Wise Counselor says failure is delay, not defeat. It’s a temporary detour, not a dead end. Still, a nine-year pregnancy seems excessive for a national maternity hospital, barring genuine concerns about the unmanageable costs.

Here are solid reasons why we should be concerned about the schedule. The longer she is held up, the more the state has to shell out.

But there are other concerns that are less tangible but real and have been highlighted by activists that require satisfactory explanations.

Missed deadlines for major projects are unobtrusive.

As Aristotle observed, “We can easily avoid criticism by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing.”

However, concerns about this venture, whether unfounded or unfounded, must be addressed in the face of public concern.

The main concern relates to the fact that the site belonged to the Religious Sisters of Charity, who in turn have transferred their stake.

The land for the new Dublin hospital is to be leased to the state for 299 years by an entity known as St Vincent’s Holdings CLG.

Many fear that women’s rights could be curtailed if religious influences are present. Sinn Féin has argued that we need a public hospital on public land. Environment Secretary Eamon Ryan has insisted the lease for the new government-owned hospital is “similar”.

But is it? According to Social Democrat deputy leader Róisín Shortall, renting it would cost just €10 a year as long as six conditions set by St Vincent’s Holdings Group are met.

Otherwise the costs would increase to €850,000 per year. That’s a pretty severe sanction that probably wouldn’t apply if the state owned all of the land.

Health Secretary Stephen Donnelly is also adamant that there was a 100 per cent guarantee of full clinical independence. All the needs of women would be met.

Still, Labor leader Ivana Bacik has urged the government to release all communications between the Sisters of Charity and the Vatican regarding ownership of the site.

Independent TD Catherine Connolly went further, describing the proposed arrangements as “Kafkaesque and Byzantine”.

Sinn Féin also fears the state could have a “private landlord.”

If the government is confident enough that these legal issues can be addressed, now is certainly the time to do so.

An easy way to put all the clamor aside would be for the sisters to simply donate the land to the state.

It must also be noted that key clinicians are happy to have autonomy and the need for a new hospital could hardly be more compelling.

Mr Donnelly has said on record: “The sisters are off the field.”

Even if they are, this is political football that cannot easily be contacted. Questions about the maternity hospital must be answered

Fry Electronics Team

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