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Church control has got to go

Several thousand people attended a protest in Dublin today against the Sisters of Charity owning the new national maternity hospital.

The protest was organised by Parents for Choice, Uplift, the National Women’s Council of Ireland and Justice for Magdalenes.

The land at St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin 4, where the new hospital is earmarked to be built is owned by the Sisters of Charity. The order has yet to complete its contribution to the 2002 indemnity agreement with the State regarding residential institutions for children investigated by the Ryan commission and has only paid €2m of the further €5m it offered to pay in 2009 following the publication of the Ryan report. The Sisters of Charity was one of four religious congregations which announced in 2013 that they would not be contributing to the State redress scheme for women who had been incarcerated in the Magdalene Laundries.

“Abortion rights and pregnancy rights are part of the same package,” said Clare Lanigan of the Abortion Rights Campaign. “When – not if – we have abortion rights in Ireland we have to be certain that the largest obstetrics hospital in Ireland is in a position to provide all the care that people who can get pregnant need.”

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