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Dublin protest over ownership of new National Maternity Hospital

protest Image copyright RTÉ
Image caption Participants walked down O'Connell Street and finished in Merrion Square

Up to 2,000 people have taken part in a march in Dublin against ownership of a new Irish maternity hospital.

It was announced in April that the Sisters of Charity would be given ownership of the 300m euros (£250m) state-funded National Maternity Hospital.

The Sisters of Charity are major share-holders in the firm that owns the land.

The order has, so far, failed to pay its share of a compensation scheme for victims of institutional abuse.

It has been argued they will have no say in what medical procedures are provided.

The 'We Own Our Hospitals' march was organised by Parents for Choice, together with Uplift, the National Women's Council, and Justice for Magdalenes.

Participants walked down O'Connell Street and finished in Merrion Square.

The new hospital is to be built on the campus of St Vincent's University Hospital in south Dublin.

Image copyright RTÉ
Image caption The new hospital is to be built on the campus of St Vincent's University Hospital in south Dublin

Irish Minister for Health Simon Harris, has said the proposed hospital will have "full clinical independence" when it moves from Holles Street to the Elm Park campus next to St Vincent's Hospital.

Mr Harris has also said he intends to ensure the hospital's independence is further underpinned in legal arrangements.

A former master of the National Maternity Hospital in Dublin resigned from its board over plans in April.

Dr Peter Boylan said he could not "remain a member of a board which is so blind to the consequences of its decision to transfer sole ownership of the hospital to the religious Sisters of Charity and so deaf to the concerns of the public which it serves."

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