Today’s announcement from the Sisters of Charity that they are withdrawing from the boards of three hospitals, in particular from the new National Maternity Hospital is a historic move and a vindication of the tens of thousands who protested to have the church removed from the running of the new facility.
Once again we witness how People Power and the united voices across the country in opposition to the influence of the church over the delivery of women’s reproductive health can bring fundamental and welcome change in Ireland.People Before Profit welcome the announcement. We believe this is the way forward for all religious orders, including the controversial Bon Secours order which should follow the lead of the Sisters of Charity and withdraw from the delivery of health services. Both Orders also carry a seriously damaged legacy of cruelty to women and children both in the Magdelene Laundries and in the Mother and Baby Homes.
Brid Smith TD said, “This move by the Sisters of Charity vindicates the demands of tens of thousands of people whose anger was palpable after it became public that the Order was to remain in control of new Maternity Hospital. There is absolutely no doubt that People Power forced this decision from the Sisters of Charity.
“But it is not clear who owns the properties and it would appear that the state will not be handed ownership of the hospitals. This needs to change and I would caution that we need absolute assurance that there is no role for the Church in the delivery of services in the New National Maternity Hospital. The fact that the assets were not handed over to the state means that full control of the services needs to be scrutinised in the coming months.
“Now it is time to move forward on the agenda to separate church and state, to deliver the outcome of the Citizens Assembly on abortion access and a referendum on Repeal 8th Amendment. It is time for the church to move out of the health and education system and out of the personal and intimate lives of women in Ireland.”
Contact- Bríd Smith TD- 087 909 0166
Nick Lee- 087 615 6473