Europe

Sisters of Charity: Nuns end involvement in maternity hospital

Hospital Image copyright RTÉ
Image caption The Sisters of Charity have now said they will transfer ownership to a new charity

An order of nuns has said it will have "no involvement" in a new Irish maternity hospital on land it controls.

The move follows controversy over plans for a new National Maternity Hospital in Dublin.

In a statement on Monday, the Sisters of Charity said it would transfer ownership to a new charity.

It includes three hospitals: St Vincent's University Hospital, St Vincent's Private Hospital and St Michael's Hospital, Dún Laoghaire.

The Sisters of Charity was one of 18 religious congregations investigated over allegations that children were abused in residential institutions.

In April, the Irish Labour Party reacted angrily to reports that the nuns' firm would have "sole ownership" of the new state-funded institution.

They described the plans for the St Vincent's Hospital campus as "an outrage and an insult to all women".

Mission in life 'to heal'

The Irish Labour Party said the religious order currently "owes the state a substantial sum of money," as part of a redress scheme set up to compensate victims.

A spokesperson for the Order said: "For the last two years we have been actively working to find the best way to relinquish our shareholding of the SVHG," they said.

"Although the Sisters of Charity no longer have any direct involvement in the provision of healthcare services, we remain dedicated to preserving the legacy of Mary Aikenhead, whose mission in life was to heal and care for the sick and poor," the spokesperson said.