Harris called "out of touch" over new Maternity Hospital

The Magdalene Survivors group have also called for the Health Minister's resignation

Harris called "out of touch" over new Maternity Hospital

Health Minister Simon Harris arrives at government buildings this morning, 26-04-2017. Image: Sam Boal/RollingNews

Updated 17:19

The Magdalene Survivors Together group has said that the Minister for Health, Simon Harris is totally out of touch with the majority of people in Ireland over the new National Maternity Hospital.

The Magdalene Survivors Together group is made up of 165 survivors who were admitted to a cross section of Religious Institutions including The Sisters of Charity from the period of 1935 to 1980. 

They said that the proposed 'gifting' of the new hospital to the Sisters of Charity has angered many women who passed through the religious order's institutions in the past.

Chairman Stephen O'Riordan, said they're now calling for the minister's resignation.

He said "Their faith and their ethical views and the code of practice of how they operate as an organisation is in complete contrast to how the majority of women might feel in the context of receiving medical care.

"If that is not a reason for us to be really concerned then the Minister doesn't understand the role or conflict of interest." 

The Magdalene Survivors Together group say they condemn completely the Religious Orders having anything to do with Ireland’s new maternity hospital.

They said they are now calling on FF to pull the plug on their support and supply agreement with FG, if Simon Harris fails to secure sole State ownership.

They said they in no way want to prevent the development of the new maternity hospital, with O’ Riordan adding that "It must go ahead but we can’t let it proceed with Religious interference.

"We need to ask ourselves the question, are we a State provider of services or are we a Religious owned society?” 

Labour TD Alan Kelly previously claimed that Simon Harris had adopted a "hypocritical stance" over the matter over ownership of the maternity hospital. 

He argued: "Minister Harris knew of this gross misuse of a public hospital and was scandalised at the time, yet here we are three short years later with Minister Harris being very vocal in his defence of the Sisters of Charity having ownership of a new state Hospital.

"The Sisters of Charity have no business in owning any part of a national maternity hospital and should give this land to the state. Why doesn't the Minister insist on this or take legal action to compulsory take it?