Thank You, Peter Boylan

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17/04/2013. Enrollment of new solicitors in Blackhall Place. Pictured is the President of the High Court, Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns, who has said the Master of the High Court has no authority to speak on behalf of the court or its judges. Mr Justice Kearns said concerns about judicial independence expressed by the Association of Judges were well founded and he hoped every effort would be made to address these concerns with a view to resolving them as soon as possible. Photo: Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland

17/05/2013. Health Committee on Protection of Life during Pregnancy Bill. Dr Peter Boylan from the National Maternity Hospital, pictured arriving at Leinster House for the Health Committee hearings on the Protection of Life during Pregnancy Bill that the Fine Gael Labour Party Government plan to introduce. Photo: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

From top: National Maternity Hospital chairman Nicholas Kearns; Dr Peter Boylan

A spokesperson from the hospital has clarified the reason Dr Boylan was asked by text to stand down from the board is that that is the means by which he chose to communicate on Sunday with the Deputy Chairman and the Master of the National Maternity Hospital.

In his text message to Mr Kearns and Dr Mahony Dr Boylan said:

“I’m sorry it’s come to this but I did try to warn you. The way out for both of you is to make it clear that you were misled by SVHG [St Vincent’s Health Care Group], you accepted their bona fides and assurances…Both of you and the Minister are inextricably linked in this and you will either sink or swim together. The way to get the hospital is to insist on CPO of Elm Park golf club land on periphery and establish links to SVH via tunnels/corridors. Minimal design alterations needed.”

Mr Kearns replied to Dr Boylan:

“Both the Master and I have received and read your text sent to us at 13.47 today.We are now asking for your immediate resignation from the Board of Holles St – both because of your public intervention to criticise and oppose the overwhelming majority decision of the Board taken in November last to approve the agreement reached with SVUH for the transfer of Holles St to Elm Park – a vote on which you abstained – and in addition because of the content of your text sent today. It’s intimidatory tone is most regrettable.

“The Board will clearly require to be briefed on Wednesday as to the contents of your text communication if your resignation as sought is not forthcoming.”

Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, Dr Boylan told presenter Cathal MacCoille he would not resign.

Cathal MacCoille: “This call on you to resign followed not just the meeting, several meetings which discussed this proposal but, specifically, a text that you sent at the weekend, can you just tell us about that text? Who you sent it to? And what you said?”

Peter Boylan: “Yes, I was becoming increasingly concerned about the controversy that had erupted following Patsy McGarry revealing, in the wider public…”

MacCoille: “This is in The Irish Times?”

Boylan:
“The Irish Times, about a week ago now I think. And I was away when it was published. I only arrived back the next day, in the middle of the day to the furore that erupted. And I was becoming increasingly concerned that, as with the passage of time that the board members or the governors of the National Maternity Hospital, the shareholders had not been consulted about the deal which, one had the impression that it was completely agreed by the National Maternity Hospital. But I’d been assured, the board had been assured by the Deputy Chairman that the governors would be consulted and would take a vote on whether or not they agreed the deal.”

MacCoille: “Sorry, is there a difference between governors and board?”

Boylan: “Yes, there are 21 board members but there are 100 governors. So the shareholders had not agreed to the deal. So I was increasingly concerned about this. Originally, I was going to stay quiet until the meeting of the governors and raise the issues concerning, about my real concerns which I’d raised regularly at board meetings. I was getting kind of tired of it. And then the whole thing became public. And I was away and I was phoned, I got back, almost inevitably, by The Irish Times and I spoke to them and they said they would publish my comments the next day but Sister Agnes’s [Reynolds] intervention then took precedence.”

MacCoille: “Of the Sisters of Charity?”

Boylan: “Of the Sisters of Charity and she made it clear that in point of fact there was some doubt over whether or not the Catholic Church teaching would hold sway in the new maternity hospital and that was absolutely confirmed by Bishop Doran over the weekend and by a letter from the chairman of Ireland East [Hospital] Group Tom Lynch to the secretary general of the Department of Health some time ago warning that there would be ethical issues if the hospital was built on land…”

MacCoille: “Right. So. Sometime on Sunday, you sent a text.”

Boylan: “So, sometime on Sunday, I kind of felt, look, we need to sort this out and can we not sit down and talk about it and have some, there’s been call for calm heads and, you know, a lot of talk about misinformation which it transpires, actually, I was right. I wasn’t giving them misinformation…”

MacCoille: “Who..”

Boylan: “I sent a text..”

MacCoille: “To..”

Boylan:
“To Nicky Kearns, the deputy chairman and to Rhona Mahony, the Master. I said:

I’m sorry it’s come to this but I did try to warn you. The way out for both of you is to make it clear that you were misled by SVHG [St Vincent’s Health Care Group], you accepted their bona fides and assurances… Both of you and the Minister are inextricably linked in this and you will either sink or swim together. The way to get the hospital is to insist on CPO of Elm Park golf club land on periphery and establish links to SVH via tunnels/corridors. Minimal design alterations needed. Peter.


MacCoille:
‘And just for the purposes, so people know the whole story. That’s what you sent, the text you sent to Nicholas Kearns and Rhona Mahony and you got a text back from Nicholas Kearns, saying, Peter, I have it here and they’re happy that we should read it out:

“Peter, both the Master and I have received and read your text sent to us at 13.47 today [Sunday]. We are now asking for your immediate resignation from the Board of Holles St – both because of your public intervention to criticise and oppose the overwhelming majority decision of the Board taken in November last to approve the agreement reached with St Vincent’s Hospital for the transfer of Holles St to Elm Park – a vote on which you abstained – and in addition because of the content of your text sent today. It’s intimidatory tone is most regrettable.

“The Board will clearly require to be briefed on Wednesday as to the contents of your text communication if your resignation as sought is not forthcoming.”

MacCoille: “First question arising obviously, are you going to resign?”

Boylan:
“No.”

MacCoille:
“Why not?”

Boylan: “I don’t feel I should resign. There’s been questions about loyalty to the board. I feel a loyalty to the women of Ireland. The function of the National Maternity Hospital is to offer care to the women of Ireland. To believe that by granting ownership of the hospital to the Roman Catholic Church and the company that is tasked with running the hospital to the Roman Catholic Church, to construct a board which four of nine members would have fundamental objections to a lot of activity going on in that hospital, just is not a runner. And then when Bishop Doran came out on Sunday and said – a great article by Justine McCarthy and full credit to her for getting that – that any land owned by the church is ecclesiastical property and subject to Canon Law and the governance rests with the Pope. Now this is 2017 in Ireland. I tried to say to the board many times, ‘look when this gets public, it’s not going to fly’ and also, it’s not right that a maternity hospital, of all hospitals should be granted to the Catholic Church.”

MacCoille:
“When this decision, the terms of this agreement were approved by the board did you vote against it?

Boylan: “No, I abstained, it was clear from…”

MacCoille: “Why?”

Boylan:
“Well, it was clear, out of a sense of loyalty, I think to the Master and to the…”

MacCoille: “If you think, for the reasons just stated now, again, if they were your views, why didn’t you…”

Boylan:
“Well, maybe I should have voted against it but I kind of felt look, the thing is going to pass anyway because there was overwhelming support for it, there was only four people, not three, who objected and, importantly, the three previous masters had reservations and did not support it with a vote.”

Boylan refuses to stand down from National Maternity Hospital board (RTÉ)

Previously: Nun So Blind

122 thoughts on “Thank You, Peter Boylan

  1. Owen C

    A very welcome and useful contribution from Dr Boylan, but entirely inappropriate for him to remain on the board. The tone of his text and the ensuing publication of the conversation, on top of the manner of his intervention last week, mean his position is untenable.

      1. Owen C

        This isn’t whistleblowing.

        The board discussed options, came to a decision, Dr Boylan was outvoted. The decision may not have been perfect or may not be to everyone’s liking, but it wasn’t a corrupt or clearly incompetent decision, it was perhaps one unwilling to get in a fight, that may have added significant delays, on the outcome, it was a rational decision to get a near term ‘positive’ result (a proper maternity hospital attached to a general hospital and with what they believe are safeguards attached re independence).

        Unhappy with this, Dr Boylan decided to, with no notice to the board, publicly criticize the board on issues which may, but may not, become problems in the future (re independence). Then he sends strange texts to board members “warning them” of consequences, then publicizes those texts. Ridiculous behaviour, even if he may have done it for genuinely altruistic reasons.

        1. ivan

          I see where you’re coming from, Owen and agree inasmuch as when a board makes a decision, you have to have some class of united front maintained. However, I suspect (idle speculation ahoy) that at numerous meetings, Boylan most likely pointed out ‘look, this Church ethos thing is going to bite us on the a*se if we don’t nip it in the bud…we’ll have another Savita case’ and was told that ‘sure it’s grand, don’t we have assurances’.

          I think it was Sunday that the Times ran the Kevin Doran story (crux being ‘the hospital will do what the church says) and perhaps it was in the context of this that Boylans text smacked of such a level of ‘I told you so’. Whilst his own hide might have been saved if minutes of board meetings showed that he’d voiced his concern prior to the fact, that still wouldn’t have solved the Ethos/Intervention problem.

          I don’t know where the line *is* Owen, but there is one where if a board is doing something stupid, sometimes sucking it up and gritting your teeth isn’t enough.

          1. Owen C

            Fair points. Except he abstained, he did not vote against it, so in terms of the record (that we have seen so far), he simply noted non-agreement, rather than outright disagreement. Found his voice five months later, when its a lot more problematic (and, by basic human nature, irritating, bothersome, legally difficult and embarrassing if nothing else)

          2. Nigel

            I’d guess he was as taken aback by the public outcry as anyone, meaning his position is a lot stronger than he thought. Whether his position on the board is tenable I’ve no idea.

        2. Increasing Displacement

          Fair play to I say. Otherwise this would be just swept under like the rest.
          But me thinks you’d be happier with towing the acceptable business line than insubordination in support of what’s right.

          1. Owen C

            28 person board. 25 vote in favour, 2 abstain (including him), and 1 votes against. Taking this purely at face value, should one of the guys who abstains be able to hold up the decision of the rest of them, five months later, just because he doesn’t agree with it? Why would 25 of the others vote in favour of the plan if it was clearly/definitely/most probably wrong?

          2. MoyestWithExcitement

            “Why would 25 of the others vote in favour of the plan if it was clearly/definitely/most probably wrong?”

            That’s a fascinating insight into how your mind works. ‘Most voted for it so it’s right’. Amazing.

          3. ivan

            I’m gonna hazard a guess. Owen, that 25 people gave the ‘aye’ because, as you’ve pointed out above, a rational decision to get a near term positive event. And I can understand that, inasmuch as they might have said ‘well sure look, haven’t we been given assurances’, such assurances which maybe are what Boylan is referring to when he said ‘you were misled’.

            And if i was presented with information that I didn’t believe to be true, but which I suspected *might* be untrue, or given assurances and i wasn’t 100% on the bona fides of the giver of the assurance, I might be more inclined to abstain than vote no because voting no might be seen, in that context, as *actually* calling somebody a liar.

            in all this, I don’t know :) it’s speculation on my part. And I stand by my general point that there have to be circumstances where – no matter the timing – speaking out against the board has to be permitted in some shape/make/form. It’s the kind of thing that’ld play puck with any concept of corporate governance – i get that totally tho’!

          4. MoyestWithExcitement

            Thanks, buddy. Please continue giving your expert analysis on how directors should behave and how corporate governance works. It’s definitely not hilarious.

          5. Daisy Chainsaw

            Why would they vote? Because it was probably the only option on the table and they want to get out of the 19th century standard institution they’re currently in and get a 21st century standard facility as soon as possible. Maybe some were happy to have 3rd century superstitions govern it, but others weren’t

            Religion has no place in modern medicine. If god existed and was that powerful, surely a bit of a pray would clear that cancer up.

          6. Owen C

            @ Ivan

            i think there’s a difference between publicly disagreeing with the board (at the time after voting against on the record) and publicly criticizing them (five months after abstaining).

            Large organisations operate with diverse viewpoints. There has to be some ability to funnel those viewpoints into a single decision and the public communication of that decision. If every organisation either had to either (a) gain unanimity or (b) publicly discuss any internal dissent to that decision (particularly when of such public importance and sensitivity) we would never get any decisions made on anything which was remotely contentious. I assume Dr Boylan was familiar with the idea of using consensus discussions to arrive at difficult decisions in the field of medicine.

          7. Owen C

            @ Moyest

            we all eagerly await your thoughts on this, an important issue. As opposed to yours thoughts on other people, which we always, always get and which are really quite boring.

          8. MoyestWithExcitement

            Sorry, I completely forgot we’re all obliged to offer opinions on matters we have zero knowledge about. You do it so much I just assumed that was your thing.

          9. ivan

            @Owen and I understand what you’re saying. My point is that it’s *possible* that Boylan had stated back in the day ‘this could blow up in our faces if we go down this road’, was told ‘shut up, it’ll be grand, dammit’ and abstained (because, at the same time, he’s not *against* the idea of a National Maternity Hospital) and then when it becomes apparent that, actually, this is blowing up in our faces, and the Bishop Kevin Doran story isn’t helping. What was that line Harold Macmillan had about things that cause other things to go awry “Events, dear boy, Events.”

            D’you thnk that if Boylan had voted ‘no’ way back when, he’d be entitled to do what he’s doing now?

          10. Owen C

            @ Ivan

            if he’d voted no it would give him clearer standing (and therefore, as you suggest, the exact minutes/process of that decision making could be useful). If he’d voted no, he may have been asked at the time if he had a better idea, for instance, and if he didn’t, then I don’t see how he can complain too much given the importance of getting the hospital built somewhere somehow. By abstaining, it suggests he just wasn’t comfortable with saying yes to the decision, but may not have had anything else to offer on an alternative or what would happen if it didn’t go ahead. His actions over the last week suggest he has come to a much firmer anti-SV decision more recently, but thats not really a good basis to criticize the original decision (as opposed to simply being against it). Thinking his actions are ok would suggest simple consensus will never work and unanimity is the only option on decision making. Which therefore means we probably get very few decisions ever made. Don’t see how that’s a good outcome.

          11. Increasing Displacement

            Maybe he felt totally overwhelmed by the pressure against him and now has felt some of the public would back, so it braver? I can see how that would work.

            You are so wrapped up in the corporate world you can’t see beyond it.
            You are happy with a decision.
            Right or wrong.
            Doesn’t matter to you does it, as long as you have a majority.

            That’s what’s important anyway, isn’t it Owen C?

          12. Owen C

            I could equally say you live in a fantasy world where only perfect outcomes occur or where everything can be easily boxed into right or wrong (note i specifically called this decision neither of those options – thats my point).

            That’s not reality. In reality, we make decisions based on limited resources, imperfect outcomes and probabilities or dependencies. Sorry if that doesn’t reflect how you’d like things to be achieved, but its how they actually are.

          13. MoyestWithExcitement

            Riiiiiight, because you’re not the one living in a fantasy of course. “On what basis should we not go with that board approval? It was not without considered thought”

          14. Increasing Displacement

            “‘I could equally say you live in a fantasy world where only perfect outcomes occur or where everything can be easily boxed into right or wrong”

            I praising someone for going against an imperfect decision and doing so even though it will negatively affect their career. How thick do you need to be to miss that.

          15. Owen C

            How is it going to negatively impact his career, he’s retired? Fair play to him for highlighting the issue, as I said way up at the top, but he can’t expect to remain on the board if the relationship with that board has now broken down so badly due to public criticism of it which was entirely inappropriate.

            Whats interesting here is that Boylan wants an independent board to run the new hospital, free of religious and political interference. Brilliant, we all seem to agree. But when a decision is made he is unhappy with and disagrees with, he seeks to create a public outcry over it by going to the media! Wouldn’t that be outside interference in the otherwise independent decision making of the board? Its confusing. Should any decision be allowed which isn’t in full agreement with Dr Boylan? How else can this be settled?

          16. MoyestWithExcitement

            “How have i suggested he be vilified?”

            Like this; “Should any decision be allowed which isn’t in full agreement with Dr Boylan?”

        3. ahjayzis

          More dissent on state boards in the past might have saved us millions of euro and a lot of badness. Just saying.

    1. Sham Bob

      Flip that. That second text was sent in anger, and was totally intimidatory, unprofessional, and unjustifiable. He is in fact whistleblowing, both to protect his position and expose the spinelessness of his fellow board members. Of they’re arrogant enough to think they can get away with firing by text, they deserve exposure.

      1. Sheik Yahbouti

        You are correct, Sham Bob – when you break it down this IS a whistle blowing event. As usual the cry goes up “shoot the messenger”. We owe this man gratitude. Further, if some of the current Master’s reported remarks are accurate she should be considering HER position.

  2. rotide

    Who’s this legend now? I like him already.

    Hope he can stay on, but as Owen said, probably becoming untenable judging by those texts

  3. bisted

    …great when someone irrefutably exposes such a blatent example of church/state complicity…not to mention the hapless Simon Harris…

          1. Zuppy International

            Abstaining from a vote and then making public criticism of the same? Is that what responsibility looks like these days?

          2. Owen C

            Again, a serious question: do you think ‘responsible’ board members should generally publicly criticize the boards they represent when they disagree with the board decisions, and then want to keep working with that board in the future? Do you not see a problem that may create for decision making going forward and how everyone will seek to cover their backsides on any contentious issue for fear of hearing about the terrible decision they have made on Morning Ireland?

          3. Fr Zupparelli

            ZUPPYS TINFOIL HAT SLIPS…..REVEALING….A BIRETTA!!!!1!!!!
            THE LIZARD FINDER IS THE LIZARD!!!!!1/1!!
            WAKE UP SHEEPILLS!!!!11!!

          4. Fr Zupparelli

            not to mention a sinister heavily funded international mind control organisation with its tentacles in every part of society

          5. know man is an island

            No I don’t Owen. I wasn’t at the meetings where these matters were discussed so I’m not even remotely placed to comment on whether Dr Boylan’s conduct is appropriate. But luckily you have no such concerns, mind the pee doesn’t run completely down your leg while wetting the bed

          6. Owen C

            “I’m not even remotely placed to comment on whether Dr Boylan’s conduct is appropriate”

            You said he did what a reasonable board member ought to do. So you did comment on its appropriateness.

      1. Mary Jane

        He’s the best gynaecologist in the country bar no one. Frankly, if Owen C’s wife or girlfriend had a serious or potentially life threatening problem,Peter Boylan would be the man to see. In which case all mutterings from Owen C about ‘untenable positions’, abstentions and ‘poo stirring’ would disappear very very quickly.

        1. Owen C

          I’d let the devil himself make a life saving intervention at that point, so not sure how useful a perspective this is. And i never questioned the man’s brilliance as a doctor, or even whether he was right or wrong on this issue, just that he cant act like this and expect to remain on the board. I never mentioned poo stirring. So direct your outrage elsewhere please.

  4. Mourning Ireland

    Dr Rhona the great legend siding with the nuns. No surprise there. She’s his sister-in-law. Can’t wait for the next Christmas dinner spread in VIP magazine.

    Mná na Banc na hEireann.

    1. Vote Rep #1

      Amazing the bitterness that people have towards her for what, getting photos taken and wearing clothes not from Pennys? How dare that uppity woman be in charge of a large hospital and not look like crap. Of course, she would probably get stick for not making an effort then but would be completely different.

      1. Kenny U-Vox Plank

        “making an effort”

        Would you say that about a man? Say Jimmy O’Reilly. Mind you, on 250K p.a. it’s pretty easy to “make an effort”. She gets stick because as a “master” siding with nuns she still gets an easy ride from the media. Until now that is.

      2. Zoella

        Oh please! She would quite happily hand ownership of a €300 million hospital, funded by the tax payers, over to the Sisters of Charity despite everything that has happened – and you expect her to be beyond criticism. I can only conclude that she’s a few jellies short of a dolly mixture or that she is a pragmatic, political operator driven by self-interest.

        She should resign along with that other lackey Nicholas Kearns.

  5. Owen C

    Oh for God’s sake. He didn’t even vote against the decision in the first place. Great that he’s highlighted this issue, should have done this last year but better late than never. But needs to step down from the board. We’ll end up with some ridiculous legalistic or obstructionist stalemate for the next few years if not.

    “”The decisive final meeting of the board overwhelmingly supported the agreement with 25 in favour, two abstentions (including Dr Boylan) and one vote against.”

    http://www.independent.ie/irish-news/health/im-not-resigning-dr-peter-boylan-refuses-to-move-after-hes-told-to-resign-by-text-message-35651874.html

    1. BB_GR8

      He did highlight it last year. Search for articles tagged Peter Boylan on this site and there’s one from last May about all of this.

      1. Owen C

        @ BB

        thanks. I was actually referring him needing to comment immediately after the decision, when they could have more easily re-assessed it, as opposed to the current public fire-fighting exercise which is going on.

        But look at it like this – he publicly noted his problems with the decision, and the board decided it was still best to go ahead with the plan. On what basis should we not go with that board approval? It was not without considered thought, it was not without visibility or transparency, there was no censoring of dissent (no one asked for his removal from the board back then, because his actions were not a problem, the public criticism is the issue)

        1. MoyestWithExcitement

          “On what basis should we not go with that board approval? It was not without considered thought”

          That’s a positively Trumpian opinion right there.

    2. Neilo

      Is it of no concern to you, Owen C, that his criticism appears to be right on the money. Ok, the board voted for it, he abstained, none of us were present at the time. Surely it is of more importance that, in the long-term, the correct decision is made regarding the hospital. No?

      So the board made a decision that currently seems to have serious risks and provides private ownership to state funded healthcare infrastructure. Maybe the board can change its mind, and critical voices from whatever place may precipitate that. Maybe he is one..? Should he have the option to change his mind..? The trusty Bishop of Elphin was his usual blunt self, leaving many others to reconsider what they thought of this strange deal. Maybe him too (none of us know)

      I fail to see why you seem to feel his continuing place on the board, notwithstanding your apparent agreement with at least some of his points, appears to be more important to you than the correct decision for the NMH into the future. I feel you should consider why this is of such importance to you..

      I also feel the rest of us should possibly dissent from continuing to talk about this side issue and focus our comment more on whether the current “deal on the table” is overly problematic (in our own humble opinion of course..)

    1. newsjustin

      Peter Boylan’s attractiveness to Marion Finuican and Brendan O Connor shows 1 – 0 Getting a NMH built this side of 2025.

      1. martco

        nah I don’t believe that
        its simply a matter of the state securing the relevant lands, either via RCC selling it or by CPO something in this instance I would support 110%

        this business with Peter Boylan and how he went about things is all ifs n ands, he said she said. bottom line is the RCC have no place being involved in making medical decisions. full stop.
        far as I’m concerned whomever did or said or voted…I don’t give a fupp….the right thing happened here in exposing the machinations of all this.

        who knows, maybe it was god’s will, eh ;)

        religion must be extracted from all aspects of state business, dealing with this and schools admission policy is a good start.

        btw my opus dei comment was relevant, they own the parish, the only one in Ireland apparently, bit curious that.

        1. newsjustin

          Honestly. I think the Opus Dei thing is red herring. If you think the Religious Sisters of Charity or St Vincents Hospital are even remotely concerned about what a local lowly parish priest – even an opus Dei one – thinks or wants, you’re grossly underestimating them.

          That “the RCC have no place being involved in making medical decisions” is all well and good. But the salient point at the moment is that they own the land.

          A CPO might be possible….but the legal mess and delay and bad blood that will create would be huge (imho).

          I’d prefer a 100% state owned NMH too. But I think some people just aren’t being realistic.

          1. martco

            so tell me why a scenario where RCC gives the land to the state + removes itself from the board of management of the hospital is unrealistic?

          2. MoyestWithExcitement

            Holy crap, Owen. ‘You guys are being unrealistic.’ ‘Why?’ ‘Because the powerful wouldn’t like to lose power and everyone needs to just accept that.’

          3. Owen C

            you said they should “give the land to the state and remove themselves from the board”. That wont happen.

            Now if you said “had the land taken by the state and were removed from the board” I could see that as realistic (albeit with all the legal issues that come with it).

            Its about what is realistic, how it can be achieved and what will happen as a result. Silly to think the RCC are just gonna give up the land. The more likely “good” outcome, which is what NMH were hoping to achieve, is the classic Irish vagueness where the RCC never formally agrees to be ok with certain treatments, but never has a proper ability to interfere either. Imperfect but practical.

          4. newsjustin

            “Why oh why won’t the Religious Sisters of Charity and their Trust, who we intensely, publicly and vocally loathe, give us what we want so that we can do what we want on their doorstep?”

            That really is a thinker.

            Realism. Try it some time.

          5. scottser

            literally up the road from vincents, rte are selling 8.5 acres. they could stick an oul hospital up there no? sure the only concern is do you want your kids anywhere near the makings of fair city, wha?

          6. martco

            er lads, sorry, maybe I have this totally wrong but I thought they’d already agreed to give the land? no?

            so add in the removal of any involvement from the board. what am I missing here? I honestly cannot see what is so unrealistic.

            oh yeah, that influence bit. you mean the having ultimate control over procedures involving women’s body parts influence bit?

            Owen, obv you’re taking a bit of a bashing on here today…but I just want to check something. Are you ok with these fuppers (who I’d personally wonder if the CAB should be all over nevermind buying out or CPO) having a potential to control outcomes for women and babies, with all that we know in recent history. Just so we can get a hospital built quicker. Honestly, seriously? ‘cos that’s kinda what you’re sounding like.

          7. Owen C

            @ Matco

            “maybe I have this totally wrong but I thought they’d already agreed to give the land? no?”

            They’ve said they’ll allow the building and operation (by a separate but jointly owned company) of the hospital on St Vincents land, but they’ll retain ownership of the land and will legally own the hospital itself. They are giving, at most, the use of the land, for free. The ‘public’ further ‘benefits’ from it being located within/beside an existing full public hospital.

            re your question – I want absolutely zero involvement by religious institutions in the decisions or implementation of medical care. But (a) that may not happen in this case and (b) I am more concerned with having access to a state of the art hospital located next to a regular hospital than I am with the unclear risks of religious interference. To say that I am willing to accept this so a hospital will be built “quicker” does somewhat downplay the actual 20 years or so this issue has been going on for. Would you be ok with a 10yr delay if it meant we had a ‘perfect’ solution? What would be the impact of 10yrs of lower quality of maternity care? No right or wrong answer to my questions there, I would hint.

          8. Listrade

            @Owen

            “The ‘public’ further ‘benefits’ from it being located within/beside an existing full public hospital.”

            I get the quotes bit, but it should be stated that whatever arrangement is in place in the NMH Elm Park and its eventual board and Ethics Committee, the existing SVH hospital will retain its stated policy on clinicians having to seek approval for medical treatments on the basis of ethics. Therefore if patients are moved between the two, they will be under SVH’s policies.

  6. Owen C

    Also, and I know I’m going to be kicking up a hornet’s nest here, but someone has to

    “”I don’t feel I should resign. There has been questions about loyalty to the board, I feel loyalty to the women of Ireland,” he said.”

    I think that should be reconsidered as loyalty to the women AND babies of Ireland. Its a complex situation where ‘perfect’ outcomes may be difficult to find, at least in the near term. We need a new maternity hospital, that’s a fact. Like, badly so. It’s probably the only fact in this situation. We really would like it attached to a larger hospital which can add additional services re surgery and specialist care. There’s a choice here, but i think most people are agreed on it. We have a healthcare system which still massively relies on medical institutions with religious links of some manner and which is not gonna change in the short term. We do not have a massive supply of suitable and available sites that can be built on absent significant legal and/or planning issues.

    This is a somewhat difficult circle to fully, perfectly square. The NMH board voted overwhelmingly in favour of an outcome they thought was as close as they could get to that perfect situation. I trust in their judgement, unless there really has been some sort of hidden agenda from the nuns etc, which at this stage is yet to be clearly outlined (its still in very hypothetical land).

    1. MoyestWithExcitement

      :Also, and I know I’m going to be kicking up a hornet’s nest here, but someone has to”

      You’re a hero. Your posts on the comment section of this blog really make a difference.

    2. Nigel

      At some point the legacy of religious order’s history of abuse and cover-up was going to result in a backlash that would upset the status quo severely, and this would appear to be it. It may now be a case of the ‘perfect’ of going with the current plan versus the ‘good’ of divesting religious control of medical institutions.

    3. Medium Sized C

      “We have a healthcare system which still massively relies on medical institutions with religious links of some manner and which is not gonna change in the short term. ”

      Certainly not if you are handing the ownership of the an existing national hospital to a religious institution.

  7. MoyestWithExcitement

    4 posts from the same right winger demanding authority be adhered to and the person standing up for justice be villified and ousted leaving just the obedient in place.

    1. know man is an island

      Can’t agree more with you Moyest. Feel a bit ill and dirty writing that but still

    2. Owen C

      What justice is he standing up for? Serious question. How have i suggested he be vilified? Serious question. It would be great to get a rare serious response from you given that you have thrown out these allegations so easily.

      1. MoyestWithExcitement

        “What justice is he standing up for? Serious question”

        That’s not a serious question. It’s impossible to take you seriously, especially with how you opened that last post. You have no clue what you’re talking about but you NEED people to know you have a different opinion to polite society even if you pulled that opinion out of your hoop.

          1. MoyestWithExcitement

            You didn’t ask a serious question so you don’t get a serious answer. Behave like a grown up for more than a day and perhaps you might earn some answers.

          2. Owen C

            @ Dav

            I’m no church apologist. But we have a medical system heavily reliant on church-affiliated organisations. So we can either spend a few decades dismantling that but getting nothing done, or we can try and work to achieve the best solution whilst reducing reliance on those organisations (demographics will do most of the work given the lack of new nuns and priests)

          3. Nigel

            That sounds reasonable Owen, except you’re asking women to defer their rights to proper and effective medical treatments in the interests of political expediency. Is it that we’re we so used to expecting women to politely defer their rights because it’s the easier option that makes this appear to be a reasonable course?

          4. Nigel

            (To say nothing of seeing institutions implicated in a history of horrific crimes being treated with deference, respect and given yet more power over people’s lives.)

          5. Owen C

            @ Nigel

            we have a confusing and complex situation, surrounding these issues

            1. the law as it stands. This has nothing directly to do with the board decision, but obviously is related to the general overview of this issue (in particular the issues of vagueness around what patients rights are at various stages of care).
            2. the belief of the NMH board that they have full independence to treat patients in line with the law. They have not changed from that view.
            3. the view that the SVHG will have some sort of ability (still not fully clear) to restrict treatment that is in line with the law and replace with it treatment in line with their moral beliefs. This seems mainly hypothetical , even per Dr Boylans comments (“all you need is for one to wobble”).

            This suggests the board has to make an imperfect decision based around what they think the actual outcome will be. I completely understand why many people will be unhappy with this outcome, and yet it still might be the best outcome achievable.

          6. Nigel

            It may be, or it may be simple political expediency and opportunism. More likely it is the easiest solution, or appeared to be before the outcry, and people are wondering why it was okay to make the hard choices when it was inflicting austerity on the population but not when it comes to handing over a hospital to a religious order.

          7. Listrade

            @ Nigel “It may be, or it may be simple political expediency and opportunism.”

            The political expediency argument doesn’t wash ( i know you didn’t make it), this issue has been going on since 1998. I think that old friend KPMG identified the site as the best location. Since then SVH’s executive have been adamant that the new hospital is theirs (which it will be) and will be under their control (which it essentially is). For the best part of 20 years and two rounds of mediation, that has been their position.

            They may well have given up some control..but it isn’t as total as some reports. It is a whole new board, not the existing NMH. It remains to be seen the full representation of that board, but it is likely to have equal membership of SVH and NMH. It will only be 100% independent in name as the NMH Elm Park Board.

            @ Owen, the issue of interference from SVH isn’t hypothetical, it is part of their mission statement, clinical decisions are referred to the ethics committee. It is well documented that between SVH and the Mater, religious opinion is given in medical treatment.

            It again isn’t hypothetical as the SVH executive committee was insistent that their “ethos” was part of the new hospital. Their stated argument was that you can’t have two separate hospitals joined together with two different ethical positions. They were insisting it was under their fiscal and ethical control, hence two rounds of mediation.

            They have dragged it out for 20 years on this basis, so what was the sudden turnaround to give over such control? We don’t know. But then we don’t know the full make up of the board and what influence there will be.

            However, the key point being, 20 years and fighting over control is hardly politically expedient.

          8. Owen C

            @ Listrade

            “@ Owen, the issue of interference from SVH isn’t hypothetical,”

            Its hypothetical in terms of whether they can actually impact/interfere on treatment or not (we know of course they would like to). The current NMH comments on this matter have been unequivocal – the board of the new hospital will have full independence on the administration of care. The minister has been unequivocal (although now silent) that he will have a golden share to intervene if required.

            So the issue then comes down to who will dictate the new board policy. As you admit, we don’t know the full board either on day 1 or at some point in the future, and how the picking of that board will occur in practical terms. That’s why its hypothetical. The current NMH board seem confident the board will remain independent of religious interference in the future, but Dr Boylan seems in a minority (on the board) in this belief. Thats the basic nub of it.

          9. Increasing Displacement

            Owen every comment you makes screams of maintaining the status quo

            Every….single…..one

            Excuses excuses excuses.

            “So we can either spend a few decades dismantling that but getting nothing done”

            No, we’d get rid of the so called reliance and we’d be free of grasp of these neanderthals who until very recently treated women like animals for having a child without being married. Who blocked contraception until very recently…unbelievably in my lifetime. I could go on and on.
            And on.

          10. Owen C

            So build an entirely new state-owned-and-operated hospital complex with the range of services required for the new NMH! Thats the alternative!

            Its not rocket science, but yet is obviously a more difficult proposal given planning/site selection/funding issues and why it hasn’t just been suggested instead (look at the mess involved in the Childrens Hospital). Stop living in cloud cuckoo land and come up with workable solutions.

  8. Medium Sized C

    “It’s intimidatory tone is most regrettable.”

    Me bottom, Nicholas Kearns, you absolute willy.

  9. nellyb

    Owen C – you’ll know what justice Boylan standing up for once you experience real love and care for a human (female in this case).
    Good luck till then and good day to your gonads, Sir.

    1. Owen C

      Look, i support the repeal of the 8th and getting religious decision making out of our hospitals, just so we’re clear. But i don’t necessarily believe EVERY other decision needs to defer to both of these. If the board thought this was the best (best = highest ranking of hoped for outcome x probability of success) prospect for improved maternity care, then they should proceed with it. We live in a world of imperfect outcomes, so we can only hope to improve and move forward, which is what the board seemed to be trying to do.

      1. Listrade

        I do see where you are coming from…but, I think you’re too idealistic on the democracy of the board.

        The Board has 9 medical practitioners , 5 religious appointees, 5 political appointees and 9 Lay elected members.

        I don’t agree that “best = highest ranking of hoped for outcome x probability of success” , this doesn’t suggest corruption, but it I have serious doubts that the decision that was made was as logically calculated as you believe.

  10. ahjayzis

    Is there a deeper thing about Irish corporate culture being so immediately damning of any dissent?

    1. know man is an island

      I think it happens all over the Anglo Saxon world Ahjaysiz it’s because these boards are stuffed with yes men on sinecures and cronies usually

    2. ivan

      well now, in fairness, corporate culture tends to be like this the world over; a decision is made by the board and it becomes policy that trickles down into practise and procedures.

      So in general terms, if you’ve a board making a decision and then board members are allowed say “actually, I thought that was a rubbish policy and sure it’s all a load of aul balls really” that means that the ability of an organisation to implement such practises and procedures is limited. In *this* instance, the dissent is by virtue of ethos argument and I totally get where Boylans’ coming from.

      If, however, it was a more tenuous thing, like, for example the Board has a proposal that, say, “smoking be prohibited on the grounds of the hospital” then a board member who can go thru 20 Woodbines in an afternoon disagreeing publicly with the policy isn’t what you want.

      the problem here isn’t Corporate Culture, per se; the Chairman’s high handed acting? Hmmm…*wavy handy thingy*

  11. The Lady Vanishes

    Interesting no one has mentioned in this discussion that Rhona Mahony is Peter Boylan’s sister in law.

    Which adds an interesting new dimension and possibly explains why he abstained rather than voting against and was hoping the Governors would oppose it?

    Always better to set your position out clearly from the start. However better late than never!

    1. jack

      Personally i believe this was a planned argument by these two very intelligent people to force the Government and the Religious to set out to the Irish public clearly what will happen going forward.

      As she said “storm in a teacup” but it has started a big debate which needed to take place.

    1. martco

      that’s a decent outside the box idea Rugbyfan…and if anyone of them did a bit of blue sky thinking and got their ducks in a row that might well be a runner ;)

      there’s a thing now….does anyone on here know what’s to actually stop something like that (apart from discommoded people @Montrose) happening?

      In an emergency scenario as this would seem to be becoming…would the State need to CPO land they own themselves? could the govt of the day goto ABP with the architects and with their expertise deliver a solution?

  12. LuvinLunch

    This man is no friend of women. Last week the UN criticised Ireland for breach of human rights for how natural birth is so difficult to obtain in Irish hospitals. He led the charge as Master of Holles Street. Emergency c-section, episiotomy, ventouse…

    1. Alan

      Peter Boylan delivered my son naturally — wasn’t his job, our consultant was delayed and he just happened to be passing the delivery room door. He’s alright in my book.

      As for not being a friend to women, he was perfectly friendly and professional. C-sections, etc. aren’t given out like smarties, they are there for women who need them.

      1. LuvinLunch

        C section rates are 23% in Holles St. They’re not meant to be higher than 9%. In Kilkenny they’re 50% for first time mothers. I’m not saying he’s evil. Maybe just incompetent but obstetrics is incrisis because they’re doing so much damage to women. Hence the UN weighed in

    1. Deluded

      That’s an apt headline, sometimes it’s as if patients are processed as opposed to treated.

  13. Eamonn Moran

    The board guessed the public annoyance due to the Hospital being owned by the Catholic church would be muted enough to let them away with giving ownership to the SOC. They guessed wrong, Dr Boylan believed they were wrong in making that assumption but he didn’t know for sure until the public backlash. But in my mind it shows that although most of the board were very pragmatic they were not very principled in the need to keep religious ideology out of publicly funded hospitals and they did not give a high enough weighting in their decisions to the unobstructed quality care of the women of Ireland. If nothing else future boards will be less likely to make a judgement that people wont care about the fact the catholic church will own new hospitals built with public money. We also need to look at how conservative the make up of these boards are in future.

  14. jack

    It is the responsibility of our government to supply health and school services for our citizens.
    We should never have allowed the church so much influence in our society.
    A councilor said on the lunch news today said some of the people on the board did not really know what they were voting for.
    We need to get real, the government need to buy a site build a new hospital and if the church want to run separate hospitals let them run the hospitals themselves.

  15. jack

    Personally i believe this was a planned argument by these two very intelligent people to force the Government and the Religious to set out to the Irish public clearly what will happen going forward.

    As she said “storm in a teacup” but it has started a big debate which needed to take place.

    i posted this earlier but it not go at the end as i expected.

    1. Zoella

      Haha, now that would be interesting. Unfortunately, I don’t think so. Peter Boylan is the only one of that particular trio with integrity.

  16. jack

    Well the board meeting likely on now and i bet nobody resign…
    Integrity i believe the three all have this..
    They victims of political failure (ie church/state)

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