Green Party: Harris must ensure no religious interference with services at new National Maternity Hospital

20th April 2017



It’s time for the Minister to stop hiding behind his Twitter account, and face the media on the issue

The Green Party said today that Minister for Health Simon Harris must ensure that there is no religious interference with services at the new National Maternity Hospital, as a petition opposing the decision to grant ownership of the facility to the Sisters of Charity passed 50,000 signatures.

Speaking today, Green Party Councillor Ciarán Cuffe said: “We share the concerns outlined by Peter Boylan, former Master of the NMH, this morning about religious interference with service provision at the new NMH. Mr Boylan, quite rightly, pointed out that certain procedures, such as vasectomies, are not available at St. Vincent’s Hospital due to their religious ethos. Can Minister Harris guarantee that a full range of services including those Mr. Boylan raised concerns about, such as IVF, sterilisation, abortion, gender reassignment surgery, will be available at the new hospital?

“This is a complex issue, and I’m afraid that the Minister’s 140 character explanations just won’t do. It’s time for Minister Harris to stop hiding behind his Twitter account, face the media and answer the hard questions he has been avoiding in this case. People are very concerned at the prospect of religious interference with service provision at the new NMH, and have every right to be. The Minister must answer their concerns properly.”