Words: Eva O’Beirne
The Make Our National Maternity Hospital Public campaign has highlighted several ways people can protest the move such as emailing their TDs.
Taoiseach Michéal Martin confirmed the Government will on Tuesday approve the protracted and divisive plan to build a new National Maternity Hospital at St Vincent’s.
It is unclear if the approved plans will include a non-exhaustive list of procedures that will be available at the facility.
A protest against the plans for the National Maternity Hospital took place outside the Dáil on Saturday, as well as the week before due to concerns of religious influence on the new facility.
This controversy has been spiralling out of control since 2016 when the South Dublin location was chosen to be the site of the new maternity hospital. Attached to the existing St. Vincent’s Hospital, the project was originally priced at 300,000 million euro. It will now cost nearly a billion, and it won’t be publicly owned.
The facility will be the largest maternity hospital in Ireland, replacing the National Maternity Hospital at Holles Street in Dublin city centre. The location has come under scrutiny in recent weeks, with many questioning why the hospital isn’t more accessible to the general population.
The selection of the Dublin 4 location has also been highly controversial due to the site’s ownership by the Sisters of Charity religious order, which led to questions about whether Catholic beliefs could affect services offered in the facility.
The Sisters of Charity have previously refused to contribute to redress funds for victims of the Magdalene laundries.
The nuns have set up a third-party charitable company, St. Vincent’s Holdings, that will be responsible for running the new maternity hospital, which has also led to concerns from campaigners for reproductive healthcare as they believe there is not enough separation between Church and state.
The Make Our National Maternity Hospital Public campaign has asked the public to email their local representatives to change the details of the deal, and make the hospital owned by the state. You can find the details of your local TDs here.
Elsewhere on District: 10 things you need to know: National Maternity Hospital scandal