Transfer is seen as removing an obstacle to building the new National Maternity hospital
St Vincent’s University Hospital and St Vincent’s Private Hospital at Elm Park, will transfer to a new ‘not for profit’ body.
St Vincent’s University Hospital and St Vincent’s Private Hospital at Elm Park, as well as approximately 3.21 acres at St Michael’s Hospital in Dun Laoghaire, will be transferred by the Sisters of Charity to a new “not for profit” independent entity, a spokeswoman has confirmed.
The spokeswoman was responding to queries about particular properties to be transferred to the new entity following an announcement last week that Rome had approved the nuns’ decision to move ownership of their St Vincent’s Healthcare Group to the new St Vincent’s Holdings CLG.
It was also clarified that transfer to St Vincent’s Holdings CLG by the sisters will include 28.67 acres of land.
The transfer has been seen as removal of an obstacle to building the new National Maternity hospital at Elm Park which some feared would be run on Catholic ethos lines, which wouold prohibiut contraception, sterilisation, IVF treatments, abortion, etc.
Rome has granted “permission to transfer the entire issued share capital of St Vincent’s Healthcare Group to St Vincent’s Holding for the nominal sum of €1.”
Under Catholic Church Canon Law, approval for transferring ownership of extensive properties owned by any religious congregation must be secured from Rome before it can proceed.
It has also emerged that the St Vincent’s Healthcare Group will pay rent to the sisters for use of the old private hospital/the Herbert Wing at St Vincent’s University Hospital.
This amounts to approximately 1.8 acres, not included in the 28.67 acres referred to above as being transferred.
Funds accrued by the sisters from this will go towards care of their 117 members in Ireland, average age 81, as well as towards funding their ongoing work in education, homelessness, and with refugees.
The spokeswoman also clarified that the sisters “will not be involved in any way” with the new St Vincent’s Holdings CLG.
Transfer of the properties will end the sisters’ 186-year involvement with St Vincent’s.
In 1834 Mary Aikenhead, who founded the Sisters of Charity, established the first hospital in Ireland to admit the sick irrespective of race, creed or ability to pay.
Sisters of Charity superior general Sr Patricia Lenihan said they were confident the St Vincent’s Healthcare Group would “continue to provide acute healthcare services that foster Mary Aikenhead’s mission and core values of dignity, compassion, justice, equality and advocacy for all into the future.”
When it was suggested this could mean continuation of a Catholic ethos at the Group, it was pointed out that when Mary Aikenhead died in 1858 the Catholic church taught that no homicide was involved if abortion took place before 166 days of pregnancy, or almost 24 weeks.
It was 1869 before the Church adopted its current position.