Two men have launched a High Court action in the hope of stopping the government from building a new National Maternity Hospital on a site at St. Vincent's Hospital.
Dick Spencer, who founded the Campaign to separate Church and State, and his son Norman, aren't happy with the current plan which means the hospital would be build on land owned by a group of nuns.
The men are concerned that the Catholic Church may end up having some influence in the running of the hospital if it is built on their land, and the effect that may have on expectant mothers.
In a press conference this morning, Dick and Norman described the decision as a "gross example of political failure" and said "it is impossible to believe, given the past history of Church-State dealings and the damage caused to thousands of women that this proposal could emerge”.
“Savita Halapanaver’s death should have given the Minister for Health and the Cabinet good pause for thought. Minister Harris should be ashamed, he should be sacked”.
When asked about how he feels about the process of getting a much needed new maternity hospital might be slowed down due to this challenge, he replied;
“There is a state owned site in Tallaght... surely to goodness if they moved fast, they would have all the advantages and none of the disadvantages to go with”.
Norman added, “It’s at an early stage, it’s not like construction has began. In fact planning permission hasn’t even been granted”.