Magdalene survivors 'shocked and angered' after Government grants National Maternity Hospital to religious order

The Government is being accused of showing a total disconnect with Irish women in handing ownership of the new National Maternity Hospital to the Sisters of Charity.

A demonstration will take place outside the Department of Health in Dublin this lunchtime.

An 'Uplift' petition has already attracted tens of thousands of signatures in a bid to block the move.

Organisers say they have a clear message for the Minister for Health, that Ireland wants well-funded, State-run public services, that are not owned by the church, big corporations, or anyone else.

Survivors of the Magdalene Laundries say they are "shocked and angered" at the decision to hand over ownership of the new National Maternity Hospital to the religious order as part of a deal for the land at the site.

Millions of euro are still owed by the church in compensation to victims of institutional abuse.

Opposition parties have claimed there could be a conflict between medical decisions, the possibility of new abortion legislation, and the new owners' Catholic values.

Former WRC chairman, Kieran Mulvey, who brokered the deal, says the funds owed by the order is a seperate issue - and Health Minister Simon Harris says the Sisters of Charity won't have any religious influence in the new hospital.

But Councillor Éilis Ryan from the Workers Party, which is organising today's demonstration, says the Government have 'widely' missed the mark.

"Thousands are interested in coming along to this demonstration, more demonstrations are organised for the weekend, and it's very much, I think, the straw that broke the camel's back," she said.

The demonstration is taking place outside the Department of Health, at Hawkins House, in Dublin city centre at 1pm today, with others being organised around the country.

Related Articles

Junior Minister apologises to United Nations for Ireland's human rights record

UN calls on Government to explain lack of progress on Magdalene Laundries & mother-and-baby homes

More in this Section

Young sailors rescued in Dún Laoghaire after Storm Brian hits

Latest: 10,000 still without power as work continues on electricity network

Banks' response to tracker mortgage scandal 'not good enough', says Taoiseach

Cork County Council place flood barriers, warn of likely road closure

Today's Stories

No Government jet for freed Halawa

Garda officers may sue for right to strike

Rail unions vote for industrial action

‘We are on our knees after this ... we need help’


A helicopter put a piano on the 150-foot roof of Blarney Castle and other stories from the Cork Jazz Festival archives

Jazz Memories: Famous faces share their favourite moments

Live music review: The Horrors - Icy genius in a thrillingly intimate setting

New book revisits the games they just don't make anymore

More From The Irish Examiner