Wednesday, 26 April 2017


Irish Labour Party leader Brendan Howlin says State must have full control of hospital



  An alternative site for a national maternity hospital must be found if a deal whereby the State has full control of the facility cannot be brokered, Labour leader Brendan Howlin has said.

  Mr Howlin was speaking at the end of his party’s conference in Wexford yesterday in response to assertions by the Bishop of Elphin, Kevin Doran, who said the Sisters of Charity, the congregation that owns the site of the planned hospital, would have to apply Roman Catholic teaching in the new facility.


  Bishop Doran told the Sunday Times: “A healthcare organisation bearing the name Catholic while offering care to all who need it has a special responsibility . . . to Catholic teachings about the value of human life and dignity, and the ultimate destiny of the human person.”

  When asked in August 2013 by The Irish Times if St Vincent’s University Hospital would carry out abortions to save a woman’s life, a spokesman said the hospital would “as always be following the law of the land”.

  That statement was made amid controversial comments by then Fr Kevin Doran, in which he said the Mater hospital would not be able to comply with the new Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act.

  He was then a member of the Mater hospital’s board of governors.

  He told The Irish Times at the time that “the Mater can’t carry out abortions because it goes against its ethos”, and that he would be concerned that the then minister for health, James Reilly, “sees fit to make it impossible for hospitals to have their own ethos”.

  Board of governors

  Ultimately Fr Doran resigned from the hospital’s board of governors after it decided the Mater would comply with the Act. He said he was resigning, “largely because I feel a Catholic hospital has to bear witness . . . to Gospel values alongside providing excellent care.”The Mater was one of two Catholic voluntary hospitals on the list of 25 approved institutions – the other being St Vincent’s University Hospital.

  Mr Howlin said it may be necessary to transfer ownership of the national maternity hospital to the State.

  “That means the transfer of the site from the ownership of the Sisters of Charity to the State. I think that a deal could be brokered on that basis, with full ownership and democratic control vested in the State thereafter.

  “Or we have to look for another site.

  “It is certainly not acceptable for any doubt to even exist for bishops now or into the future to say that they have any influence.”

  Religious ethos

  Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin said the proposed hospital had to be free from any specific religious ethos. Mr Martin called on Minister for Health Simon Harris to be “fully transparent’’ relating to the entire process.

  He said the Minister had clearly endorsed the agreement in November, but now appeared to have abandoned that position.

  “The Minister also needs to be transparent in terms of the deal done,’’ Mr Martin added.

  He said the taxpayer should have the investment of huge sums of money reflected in the ownership of any facility being provided.

  He viewed the whole matter with some degree of concern, and took on board the “passionate articulation’’ of master of the National Maternity Hospital Holles Street, Dr Rhona O’Mahony, that without question it was not fit for purpose.


Maternity hospital critic told to resign from board by text message

 Irish IndependentEilish O’Regan and Conor Kane

  THE outspoken former master of the National Maternity Hospital in Holles Street, Dr Peter Boylan, has been asked by text message to resign from the board.
  Dr Boylan, who is a strong critic of the decision to allow the Sisters of Charity to own the new €300m national maternity hospital, told the Irish Independent he was asked to resign last Sunday. He said the text was signed by the deputy chairman Nicholas Kearns and the current master of the hospital, Dr Rhona Mahony.
  “I got a text on Sunday afternoon from Mr Kearns and the Master of the Rotunda,” he said. “It is shooting the messenger to ask me to resign. Telling me ‘you are out’ is not going to advance the hospital.”
  Dr Boylan, who is a brother-in-law of Dr Mahony, retired as an obstetrician last year. He said that it is important to have a board with “diverse opinions”.
  THE outspoken former master of the National Maternity Hospital in Holles St, Dr Peter Boylan, has been asked by text message to resign from the board by his deputy chairman Nicholas Kearns.
  Dr Boylan, who is a strong critic of the decision to allow the Sisters of Charity ownership of the new national maternity hospital, confirmed to the Irish Independent last night he was asked to resign “by text” last Sunday.
  He said the text was signed by Mr Kearns and the current master of the hospital, Dr Rhona Mahony.
  “I got a text on Sunday afternoon from Mr Kearns and the Master of the Rotunda,” he said, adding that he has not responded to it.
  It comes in the wake of the outcry over the decision to give ownership of the €300m hospital to the Sisters of Charity, who own the St Vincent’s Hospital campus in Dublin where it will be located.
  Dr Boylan said last night he intends to attend a meeting of the Holles Street board tomorrow afternoon.
  “It is shooting the messenger to ask me to resign. Telling me ‘you are out’ is not going to advance the hospital,” he said.
  He also said the agreement between Holles St and St Vincent’s has not yet been put to the governors, who are the shareholders of the healthcare facility.
  Dr Boylan, who is a brother- in-law of Dr Mahony, retired as an obstetrician last year. He said that it is important to have a board with “diverse opinions”.
  A spokesman for the hospital said last night Dr Boylan was a member of the board at all times during the six-month period of mediation which resulted in agreement last November to co-locate the National Maternity Hospital with St Vincent’s University Hospital.
  “The board was kept fully briefed on all developments by the negotiating team during that period.
  “The decisive final meeting of the board overwhelmingly supported the agreement with 25 in favour, two abstentions (including Dr Boylan) and one vote against.
  “Thereafter the agreement was approved by Government and planning permission was lodged. Last week, some five months after the agreement was approved, Dr Boylan, without warning, consultation with or notification to the board, its chair or the Master of the hospital, went public in attacking the agreement.”
  During an interview, with RTÉ’s ‘Morning Ireland’ last week, Dr Boylan, suggested that the Sisters of Charity would bring a strong religious influence to the practices at the new National Maternity Hospital.
  “The state is investing €300m of your money and my money in a new maternity hospital and it is inappropriate that that hospital should have a strong religious influence, particularly from the Catholic Church, with all its bad history in relation to women’s healthcare,” he said.
  Yesterday Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald called for “the utmost clarity” on the future governance at the new hospital.
  The Justice Minister said the days of “interference by religious authorities” in maternity services are in the past.
  She said she believes there will be “significant progress” in the coming days on the issues that have “arisen” and that Health Minister Simon Harris is working on achieving clarity.
  “What I would say is that the time for interference in any modern maternity hospital for the future, any interference by religious authorities, that time is in the past and for the future, clearly, women and the country need clarity and that’s what the minister (for health) is working to ensure we have,” she said.
  “People want a modern maternity hospital that’s working to best clinical practice and the religious orders and the Church have nothing to do with it or with the decisions that are made for women.”
  More than €5m stands to be lost if the controversial deal to move the National Maternity Hospital to the St Vincent’s campus collapses.
  The public funding has already been spent in preparing to move the maternity hospital from Holles Street to the Dublin 4 site.
  Around €100,000 has been paid to An Bord Pleanála as part of the planning application.
  The board of St Vincent’s Healthcare Group will meet later this week to review its involvement in the project in light of the public outcry.
  Dr Rhona Mahony has said an agreement between the two boards allows for full independence for the maternity hospital and it will provide all services that are legal in the State.


At this stage in time I am really pissed off by the absolute arrogance of the Irish Catholic Bishops and their efforts to force their religion down the necks of the Irish state and people!

If I had the power to do so I would bring in laws that took all institutions in Ireland OUT of the hands of these bastardos.

I would look at how much the state paid them over the years to run these schools and hospitals and how much money and assets they now have and strip them back to the point where they had enough to live on and nothing more.

I would not give the Catholic Church ANY MORE MONEY and I would make sure that they were banished from public life as much as possible.

If they wanted to run Catholic Schools and hospitals I would let them pay for them and make sure that they complied with the law of the land in every respect.

If Catholic parents and patients wanted to support these private institutions I would give them some tax allowances - but restrict these allowances.

Ireland has been a bishop and priest ridden country and THAT HAS GOT TO END!

Let them restrict their teaching and preaching to the private realm - the home, the church and things like Sunday schools. 

Let them STOP telling the Irish State and the Irish People what they can do in bed, in schools, in hospitals.

The morality and ethics of the country should be decided by the vote of the people.

If the bishops and priests want to tell their Catholic followers how to vote etc - that is their business.

I wish the Irish State would get these monkeys off our backs !!!


  1. MournemanMichael26 April 2017 at 00:20

    In a word Pat: Agreed!

  2. Appealing for compliance with Catholic moral teaching is one thing; imposing Catholic moral teaching is quite another (and quite wrong).

    Historically, enforcement of Catholic moral teaching, whether by legislation or by Church-complicit violence, has done incalculable damage to the Church's efforts at evangelisation; in fact, it has been woefully counter-productive.

    When people are not free to make moral choices, they are not free to follow Christ. This is the very antithesis of Jesus' Gospel invitation to 'Come. Follow me.'.

    1. But is there not an element of force in the choice a) believe in Christ and go to heaven or b) disbelieve and go to hell for all eternity where you will be punished in a lake of fire? It's hardly a free choice in such circumstances. It's even less when the entire morality and laws of your society, constructed around Judaeo-Christian principles, then police these values. I don't see much freedom there.

    2. If you are an example of a follower of Christ, then you obviously picked Him up wrong. His invitation was a request. 'Leave me alone!'.

    3. 09:00, good point, and I agree with you: there IS an element of 'force' in the choice (at least, insofar as it has been presented within Judaeo-Christian culture).

      This is the problem: Jesus merely warned people of the eschatological reality of Hell, whereas some of his 'followers' have used the concept as a means of social control.

      Hell exists (indeed, must exist, if there really is the choice of rejecting Heaven). Jesus warned of this, as a doctor might warn a patient of the serious medical risks of chronic and heavy cigarette-smoking. Such warning is not a threat to impose these health disadvantages should the patient decline to accept medical advice. Similarly, when Jesus warns of Hell, it is not a threat to impose eternal damnation, but a reminder of its existential reality as the alternative to Heaven.

      The churches, especially in the past, tended to play up the reality of Hell to the point where people were not so much seeking Heaven, but trying to avoid Hell. It is not the attitude Jesus wants of us.

      God did not create Hell; it is simply the alternative to Heaven.

    4. 10:10, I can feel the love coming from your comment. It marks you out as... Well, it marks you out as something; I'm just not sure what.

  3. Quite a sad post really when one considers that if it wasn't for Catholicism we would not have hospitals in the first place.

    The late Cardinal Francis George's quote is coming to pass:

    "I expect to die in bed, my successor will die in prison and his successor will die a martyr in the public square. His successor will pick up the shards of a ruined society and slowly help rebuild civilization, as the Church has done so often in human history."

    The West is on a full-scale flight back into barbarism and paganism, where decisions are "made" for women. Decisions made no longer in adherence to God's laws and the wonderfully nuanced, refined and merciful Catholic moral theology, but ones made by the strong, fit and healthy who shall be the arbiters of who is worthy of life and who is not.

    As C.S. Lewis predicted in the "Abolition of Man", when the objective Natural Law is banished, a situation arises whereby the "Conditioners" tell the "Conditioned" what to do. The "Conditioners" become God and arrogate God's rights to themselves.

    I place my faith in God, His Holy Law and His Holy Church more so than some politician with flawed reasoning, a darkened intellect and a weak capricious, impressionable will.

    1. I'm afraid the late Cardinal Francis George was more imaginative than prescient. Like so many Cathoilc prelates in history, he appealed to people's fears, not to their reason: the trademark of the demagogue.

      He also conveniently forgot the history of his own, intolerant, institutional Church: it imprisoned many more than the one he 'envisioned' would be imprisoned after him (still waiting for this to happen, by the way) and killed many more than the one he 'envisioned ' would be martyred 'in the public square'.

      'The West is on a full-scale flight back into barbarism and paganism'? Unless this is your full-scale flight of scaremongering fancy, it makes sense only as a return to the dark days when Roman Catholic prelates, not Christ, ruled with an iron fist. And ruled with such ruthless barbarism that they persecuted countless numbers and drove them into hatred of Christ, not to mention into schism.

      As for C.S. Lewis, he was a dabbler in theology, and more inclined, like you and Cardinal George, to flights of fancy uninterrupted by reason. It was why he is such a renowned writer of ... fiction.

    2. MC, you nothing about history, facts or truth.

      You just spew garbled, made-up nonsense about men you will never come near in terms of character, integrity, intellect and honesty.

    3. If I know 'nothing about history, facts or truth', then why are you so annoyed? Why get upset over nothing?

  4. I think the good Bishop is confusing Teaching with Ethos. I have no problem with a Christian/Catholic Ethos. It is part of our heritage. Medicine should be regulated by health professionals for the good of all patients. The church saved the state a fortune in the past by providing services. The pay back was that the state was in the churches pocket. As you say this needs to change

  5. Such a sad day Pat when the censorship tool that you employ (despite saying that this is a forum for all views) is used to stop people raising legitimate concerns about the way in which certain persons have taken over the Comments section of your blog. I really do believe that this is a mistake. If free speech means anything, then I ask you to reconsider. Living outside Ireland I have no idea who Magna Carta, Sean Page, et al are, nor have any idea of their back story and what they have and have not done, and to be frank am not interested. All I do know is that I have read some of MC's posts that are abusive, insulting and quite frankly bullying and I can see why many people would react against this and would post against him. I really do believe Pat that you much challenge his behaviour and not allow him to post comments that are abusive. Not to do so will lead to more people thinking that you have a personal connection with him that makes you let him behave in this way, or may be even are him as an alter ego. I really think you need to react in order to protect the integrity of your blog. I live my life by the adage that "I may disagree with everything you say, but I would be prepared to give my life for you to say it." But MC has frequently abused free speech to belittle and humiliate those who do not agree with him. Please promise us, your faithful and sane readership that you will no linger post any blog from him, however witty and amusing, that contains invective and abuse against any one, including members of the hierarchy and the Church. Can you do that at least? It is a matter of your integrity, I believe. A friend.

    1. You need to keep on a tighter grip what little imagination you have.

      And you need to talk to someone about the seething hatred of me that is eating you up.

      Seriously, chum: seek help, both from Heaven and from Earth.

  6. I'm sure a site can be found away from Catholic owned land
    And could someone tell me how nuns, who are supposed to give up all worldly good, actually come to own property.
    Disgraceful that the Catholic ethos penetrates into our hospital beds
    Worse than jimmy saville who penetrated into hospital beds.

  7. Surely the Catholic church you refer to must be the one so named Roman Catholic as to tar all Catholics or Catholic churches with the same brush would be wrong. A minor point I know but a point none the less.

    1. Is there not something seriously wrong when women with vows of poverty are sitting on HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF EUROS?

      Is there not some also seriously wrong with women with vows of obedience wanting POWER over FOUR MILLION PEOPLE AND THEIR GOVERNMENT?

    2. Do you apply all your MORAL HIGH GROUND to yourself and your own? Think before you write!

    3. You desire murder of the innocence - speaks VOLUMES!

  8. Sorry o9.15 for your problems, but this blog does criticise the hierarchy and rightly so.....just be content that nasty words on posts cause the post to be withheld
    Safe journey home, pat, hope your holiday has been relaxing

  9. TBH ...I think it is the men of Rc church directing the traffic here
    And using the word nun as a scapegoat
    Did I not read that somewhere??

  10. I thought the so called holy sisters usually took vows of poverty, maybe chastity, and all the traditional elements that would make them """" brides of Christ.
    But as Jesus said to his true disciples carry only one tunic etc etc and set your treasures in the next life not this one. So I can only agree to tge question of why are these sisters not using the talents properly, being a man of limited means myself I could surely advise those holy sisters how to dispose of the accured wealth and still retain enough to insure a future return whatever that maybe.

    Goats and ewes there can and be SCAPES but there is evil among them sinners alike.