Listen up! Irish are screaming ‘Keep nuns out of maternity care’


Cahir O’Doherty @randomirish April 28, 2017

Last week the Irish Minister for Health Simon Harris announced that an order of nuns, the Sisters of Charity, would be given sole ownership of the new €300 million state-of-the-art National Maternity Hospital in Dublin by the Irish government.

But the look of shocked surprise on Harris’ face when confronted with intense public outrage over the decision was the surprise of Ireland’s 19th century political model colliding hard against the 21st.

Recall that in 2009 the Ryan report into sexual abuse in Ireland’s state-funded, church-run institutions (which cost the Irish taxpayer €82 million) exposed decades of abuse and cruelty directed at children in the care of Catholic organizations, including the Sisters of Charity.

Now we are told the same Sisters of Charity will be “the sole owners” of the Irish taxpayer-funded facility. For critics, the government’s latest decision beggars belief. It’s a move so insupportable, so indifferent to the lessons of history that it demonstrates Fine Gael has learned precisely nothing from the raft of government commissioned reports into decades of abuse, cruelty and neglect at these religious order run facilities.

The Sisters of Charity famously ran five residential schools and Magdalene Laundries where, studies have concluded, Irish girls were often abused, and where women worked unpaid while being treated like petty criminals, with many incarcerated for life.

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