National Maternity Hospital: 'No defence to a religious organisation having any role whatsoever'

Pressure is continuing to mount on the Health Minister over the ownership of the new National Maternity Hospital.

Up to 1,500 people protested in Dublin yesterday to demand the Sisters of Charity have no role in the running of the €300m taxpayer-funded building.

Simon Harris maintains the current plans will mean the hospital is free from any religious interference, but has asked for an extra month to examine the ownership model.

Social Democrats TD Roísín Shortall says it simply can't happen.

"There can be no defence to a religious organisation having any role whatsoever in the corporate or clinical governance of a National Maternity Hospital.

"This is a hospital that will be serving the public, it will be funded from public money, and for that reason it should be entirely publicly owned and controlled and that's what we're fighting for," she said.

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