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Ex-Holles Street master resigns from board in maternity hospital row

The Taoiseach has said Dr Peter Boylan’s resignation is a matter for himself.

File Photo The former Master of the National Maternity Hospital, Dr Peter Boylan, has said he will resign from the board of the Holles Street Peter Boylan Source: Laura Hutton

DR PETER BOYLAN has resigned from the board of the national maternity hospital.

Boylan’s criticism of the planned move to St Vincent’s Hospital had led to a request that he resign from the board. Speaking this morning on Newstalk’s Pat Kenny Show, Boylan said the board was “deaf to the concerns of the public it serves”.

The resignation is effective immediately, Boylan said.

The former Holles Street master said that he had long been a critic of the plan, which he said was unprecedented across the world.

Boylan said that he “did not put this in the public domain” but had privately raised his concerns on a number of occasions.

He said it would be up to the next master of the hospital to “pick up the pieces” of the decision.

The board of St Vincent’s is meeting today to discuss the plans for the new maternity hospital on their campus, which have been mired in controversy since it was revealed that the Sisters of Charity, the principal shareholder in the St Vincent’s Hospital Group, would be given ownership of the hospital in return for providing the site.

Speaking this afternoon, Taoiseach Enda Kenny said Boylan’s departure from the role was a personal matter for the former hospital chief.

I know Peter Boylan for many years, in fact our three children were born in Holles Street when he was master there – but his decision is one for himself.

He said the government wanted to “put in place a legally waterproof situation where it will be perfectly clear here for everybody that what’s at stake here are proper world class facilities for expectant mothers and pregnant women”.

‘Intimidating’

Earlier the Lord Mayor of Dublin Brendan Carr says that members of the board of the National Maternity Hospital have been “intimidatory and bullying” of dissenting views.

The board of Holles Street hospital last night re-confirmed its commitment to the planned move, with just three members of around 24 voting against the plan.

Labour councillor Carr and Sinn Féin councillor Mícheál MacDonncha voted against the move.

Carr told RTÉ’s Morning Ireland that board members were ignoring public concerns about the move. He added that the original decision was made by some members “under duress”.

“I thought the attitude of some of the senior people on the board to the very real concerns that the public have is astonishing.

There was no consideration given whatsoever to the concerns raised in the past number of days. I thought it was done in a very bullying and intimidatory way.

90432628_90432628 Source: Leah Farrell/RollingNews.ie

Carr said that he felt Dr Peter Boylan, who was asked to resign from the board after publicly criticising the plan, was “attacked”.

All I wanted to do was express my concerns and there was no attempt to address them. The attitudes by some of the senior persons towards other board members was disgraceful.

Carr added that said he “had never witnessed that attitude” at any board meeting, but was not drawn on specifics. He said his concerns were about “€300 million of taxpayers money being spent on something the taxpayer won’t own”.

He called for a compulsory purchase order to be used to take ownership of the land.

Speaking yesterday on Cormac ag a Cúig on RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta, Mac Donncha said:

“Whatever confidence I had in the agreement is almost completely gone now, particularly after the statements by Bishop Kevin Doran at the weekend around Cannon Law and the hospital being Catholic property.

Of course that is not what the agreement states, that is not the understanding of the Board, we understood that there would be clinical independence but we must now look at that again.

Read: Holles Street board re-endorses deal to move maternity hospital

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