The planned relocation of the National Maternity Hospital to a site owned by the Sisters of Charity at St. Vincent’s Hospital is now – due to an outcry – under review. In The Sunday Times’ article the Bishop of Elphin, Kevin Doran, was quoted as follows: “A healthcare organisation bearing the name Catholic, while offering care to all who need it, has a special responsibility…to Catholic teachings about the value of human life and the dignity and the ultimate destiny of the human person” – meaning if the nuns take charge of the NMH, then they’ll be doing the Roman Catholic Church’s bidding.
Well, no disrespect to the good bishop but, er…’nuff said!
However, in an attempt to copperfasten operational independence of said NMH, its Master, Rhona Mahony, last week contradicts this statement, insisting the facility will be “clinically and operationally entirely independent, in line with national maternity policy” – if its proposed gifting to a group of individuals who’ve historically been a major oppressor when it comes to women’s reproductive rights in this country goes through.
Seriously readers, I have to ask this talented lady, who is one of our country’s most respected consultant obstetricians, what planet she was on when she thought Irish women would swallow this tripe?
Look, in Dr. Mahony’s own words…“Can we get real about this?” Well, yes, c’mon, let’s get real. Let’s ask why a religious order who still owes €3 million in compensation and redress to mothers, babies and children viciously abused when they were at their most vulnerable in the very institutions it ran, should be ‘gifted’ a medical facility (where all aspects of maternity care will be its remit) at a staggering cost of €300 million to the taxpayer! This so-called ‘charitable’ order is sitting pretty on one of our nation’s most valuable assets, i.e. the Elm Park Campus in Dublin, and, if the nuns had any sense of decency at all, they’d donate the land as a gesture of goodwill.
Now while we know this religious order has historically failed Irish women and children, if the deal goes through, it’s clear our State will also fail them! I say ‘them’ and not ‘us’ because my child-bearing days are over, and, due to a hysterectomy at this very hospital, so are my gynae days, and while the care I received there was good not excellent, if an order that was part of a list of 18 religious congregations who’ve been investigated by the Ryan Commission over allegations where children were abused in residential institutions gets its grubby, grabby and uncharitable hands on this facility, then I for one wouldn’t even drop in to take a pee, let alone opt to give birth there.
Besides, if, as is likely, a Referendum on abortion is called and the electorate vote in favour of changing the law, then the State needs to take control and make sure regulations are implemented. Otherwise the principals of any Catholic-run maternity hospital and the State will be at odds and we have absolutely no way of knowing (given the Church’s past history) which will prevail. Look folks, everyone is entitled to their beliefs and to practice their religious ethos, but we, as a nation, are entitled to have our Maternity Hospitals run free of any bias, religious or otherwise, and while there are many decent and kind nuns out there, I’m hoping as a taxpayer, (but mainly as a mother and grandmother), that the necessary medical and legal safeguards and governance structures are put in place – ones that don’t present any risks as to how women and their babies will be treated by whomever runs this public funded facility.
Enda’s milestone leads us on road to nowhere
Well, it’s the story that just keeps giving…and this week I have to ask…what’s the one great thing about an Irish Government? It’s an Irish Government with a s**t load of flaws that I get to pick at every single week! However folks, last week, as he marked a major milestone in his career – that of being the longest serving Taoiseach in Fine Gael’s history – it sticks in my throat but I’d actually like to congratulate Enda Kenny and ask him, did a fortune-teller place a good luck spell on you when you were born Sir, ‘cos when you took over such a shambolic party with the emphasis being placed firmly on the ‘bolic,’ and managed to scrape together a government, I for one didn’t think for a second you’d manage to tick that particular box and reach that goal!
I’m even more surprised given Enda’s party are all set to tick their own ballot boxes with Coveney, Varadkar and God knows who else being practically out on the hustings, pressing the flesh and kissing the babies in preparation for their leadership takeover and a General Election. To be honest folks, I’m not a fan, especially when it comes to Fine Gael’s policies which have resulted not in us being on the road to recovery, but rather travelling down the road to nowhere with families left homeless and people left jobless; the upshot being a despicable level of child poverty in this country that has sickened me to the very core.
But in our crazy and scarily mixed up world of terror attacks, talks and threats of war, Donald Chump, Brexit and Teresa May’s snap General Election announcement, our hapless Enda, whom, you must admit has given the young pretenders to his throne the right runaround –especially at one point where he threw it out there that he just might see in the Pope’s 2018 visit before standing down – is probably one of the most stable things in politics at the moment. Now how weird is dat?
Brendan’s quip was spot on!
As I’ve already said, I’m a big fan of foul-mouthed matriarch Mrs. Brown and her creator Brendan O’Carroll, but not of the Dubliner’s latest talk show ‘All Round to Mrs Brown’s’ because it looks, in my opinion, to be cobbled together.
However, last week, while celebrating the show’s success and appearing on fellow talented Irishman Graham Norton’s show, Brendan’s quip of “Get a f**k*** life!” to a ‘superfan’ who’d had all of the Mrs. Brown cast’s characters’ faces tattooed on his back made me laugh out loud, but appeared to anger some viewers, presumably those devoid of a sense of humour!
As someone who has three tattoos, I’m a fan and admirer of tasteful body art. However, having clichéd branding, people’s faces and random buzzwords inked into your body is not cool, nay, it’s marking yourself with industrial entertainment and while Brendan was having a laugh, his reaction was spot on…and, in my view, he stole the show!