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Sweet Baby James

Latest press release from Cllr Jennifer Whitmore, issued on Wednesday, December 4th 2019…

Social Democrats General Election candidate for Wicklow, Cllr. Jennifer Whitmore is holding a public meeting, with Dr. Peter Boylan and Roisin Shortall TD as guest speakers, in Bray on 12th December to discuss the delay in the build of the National Maternity Hospital (NMH) and recent revelations that the hospital is still awaiting Vatican approval before the land can be handed over.

Whitmore said, “It has been 30 months since the Sisters of Charity promised that they would no longer have any involvement in the National Maternity Hospital, and yet, as we head into 2020, there is still no clarity on when the State will own the site on which the new hospital will be built. The Sisters of Charity, who own the site at St Vincent’s Hospital, have not yet received permission from the Vatican to change its status to a secular structure.

“The Vatican has never before given permission for a religiously-owned site to be handed over to the State for a maternity hospital, where that hospital that would provide all services, including terminations. So there is no real certainty that permission will be forthcoming.

“Despite this, €43m of public money has already been spent on enabling works at the site. It is unacceptable for the Government to continue to spend public funds on the project until there is legal clarity and certainty that the project will go ahead. It is highly unlikely that the delivery date of 2024 will be met, but without clarity on legal ownership, it is a huge risk to continue to pour money into something that is still in private hands.

Whitmore concluded,  “Dr. Peter Boylan and Social Democrats Co-leader Roisin Shortall have been at the forefront of this issue over the last couple of years to ensure that this new facility will be safeguarded for the State and for future generations of women.

“I am delighted that both these speakers will be at the meeting to discuss the NMH, which will be held in The Royal Hotel, Bray on 12th December at 7.30pm and I would like to invite members of the public to attend and to take part in the discussion.”