86pc of people want no church involvement in our health services


A petition against the Sisters of Charity ownership over the new National Maternity Hospital has gathered over 91,000 signatures, and now a new poll has shown that the majority of Irish people are against the move. 

An RTÉ poll found that 86 per cent of people do not want the Catholic Church to have any role in maternity services in Ireland.

The survey was conducted for the Claire Byrne Live programme. 

The results come after protests had been staged outside the Department of Health against the Sisters of Charity involvement and a petition had since gone viral against their role.

'The Sisters of Charity is one of 18 residential institutions that is highlighted by the Ryan report 2009 to have been responsible for child abuse,' reads the petition manifesto.

'They still owe €3 million to the redress scheme for its survivors. The Sisters of Charity, along with three other religious congregations, were responsible for the management of Magdalene Laundries.'

'In 2013 they stated they would not be making ANY contributions to the State redress scheme to the women who had been subject abuse in the Magdalene Laundries.'

Minister for Health Simon Harris has attempted to reassure the public that there will be no Catholic influence on the health care provided to women at the new National Maternity Hospital. 

'The identity and ethos of the current NMH will be retained,' reads a statement from the Department of Health. 

'The new company will have clinical and operational independence in the provision of maternity, gynaecology and neonatal services, without religious, ethnic or other distinction, as well as financial and budgetary independence.'

However, a further poll shows that only 23 per cent of people surveyed believe the Minister's reassurances.