The Sisters of Charity have agreed that they will not own or run the new National Maternity Hospital. After months of controversy, the nuns have admitted that women need to be provided with modern maternity and neonatal services.
There's been huge controversy over plans to give the religious order ownership of the new facility when it relocates from Holles Street to the grounds of St Vincent's.
They would have representation on the board of the facility but wouldn't run it. 104,526 people have so far signed an UPlift petition against the move.
In April, Minister Harris had asked for a month to speak to everyone involved and review the deal.
This morning Sisters of Charity have revealed they will not be involved in the ownership or management of the new hospital.
St Vincent's Public Hospital is owned by the Vincent's Healthcare Group
They will also end their part in the St Vincent's Private and Public Hospitals as well as St Michael's in Dun Laoghaoire.
“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. We believe that the future continued success of SVHG can best be ensured by our transferring ownership of the group to a newly formed company with charitable status to be called “St. Vincent’s”. The Religious Sisters of Charity will have no involvement in this new company."
SVHG chair James Menton says: “The Sisters have always held the highest ambitions for the provision of world class healthcare services in Ireland and have successfully achieved and sustained this. They also see the need for the proposed development of the new National Maternity Hospital integrated within the Elm Park campus and want to do everything possible to ensure this vital facility for mothers and babies is developed as quickly as possible."
The land at Elm Park owned by the religious order will be sold to the new Vincent's group on terms that have yet to be agreed.
In a statement, Amnesty Ireland said it had "been concerned at the proposed involvement in women's health services of a religious congregration whose ethos is inherently antithetical to women's sexual and reproductive rights."
"We also welcome the assurances given that the medical ethics codes of the new body to take charge of the national maternity hospital will align with best medical practice."