Category Archives: Misc

St Vincent’s Chief Operating Officer Kay Connolly, Minister for Health Simon Harris and Dr Rhona Mahony, Master at Holles Street

The Religious Sisters of Charity will end our involvement in St Vincent’s Healthcare Group and will not be involved in the ownership or management of the new National Maternity Hospital.

For the last two years we have been actively working to find the best way to relinquish our shareholding of the St Vincent’s Healthcare Group (SVHG). It includes three hospitals: St Vincent’s University Hospital, St Vincent’s Private Hospital and St Michael’s Hospital, Dun Laoghaire.

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.

Upon completion of this proposed transaction, the requirement set out in the SVHG Constitution, to conduct and maintain the SVHG facilities in accordance with The Religious Sisters of Charity Health Service Philosophy and Ethical Code, will be amended and replaced to reflect compliance with national and international best practice guidelines on medical ethics and the laws of the Republic of Ireland.

The SVHG Board, management and staff will continue to provide acute healthcare services that foster Mary Aikenhead’s core values of dignity, compassion, justice, quality and advocacy.

They will ensure that the three hospitals in SVHG can continue to meet the need of their patients and families, so that every individual can always access the care and treatment they need to achieve health and well-being.

“St. Vincent’s” will replace the Sisters of Charity as the shareholders in SVHG and will meet the following criteria:

  • The shares in SVHG will be transferred to St. Vincent’s for a nominal/”peppercorn” consideration in return.
  • Consistent with the transfer of ownership, the Religious Sisters of Charity will no longer have a right to appoint Directors to the Board of SVHG, and the present two Sister Directors will resign from the Board with immediate effect.
  • “St. Vincent’s” will not be subject to undue influence by individuals or from any source.
  • “St. Vincent’s” will not seek to generate any profit or surplus, or to remunerate Directors for their work.
  • “St. Vincent’s” Directors will have required skillsets in law, finance, healthcare and social care.  They will be true to the values of our Foundress, recognising the right of everyone to access the care and treatment they need to achieve the best possible health care outcomes, regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, gender or personal means.
  • In the event of the liquidation or wind-up of St. Vincent’s at any time in the future, any surplus assets arising therefrom will be vested with the Charitable Regulator and utilised for healthcare purposes and facilities with similar values. This is in accordance with the provisions of the RSC Constitution.

Just as our Founder Mary Aikenhead saw the need in 1834 to establish a hospital to meet the needs of the sick and poor,  we believe that it is in the best interests of the patients and children born in the National Maternity Hospital today that they be provided with modern maternity and neonatal services that are women and infant-centred and integrated within the Elm Park campus.

It is now time for us to relinquish completely our involvement in SVHG.  We are confident that the Board, management and staff of SVHG will continue to maintain a steadfast dedication to providing the best possible acute healthcare to patients and their families in line with the values espoused by Mary Aikenhead.

This proposal has the full support of the Board of SVHG. It is subject to implementation of all necessary legal, financial and regulatory matters.

A statement released this morning by Sr Mary Christian, congregational leader of the Religious Sisters of Charity.

Previously: Taking On Church And State

Darkness To Light


From top: Simon Coveney (left) and Leo Varadkar (right) during The Fine Gael leadership debate at the Red Cow Hotel in Dublin last week; Tony Groves

“There are those that look at things the way they are, and ask why? I dream of things that never were, and ask why not?”

When the Taoiseach-in-waiting Leo Varadkar quoted Robert Kennedy last week, rather than feel inspired, I felt the chill of fear run down my spine. I remembered another quote, that of T.E Lawrence:

“All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible.”

Lawrence knew it was men who imagined themselves visionaries who were the biggest threat to their fellow man. Leo is desperate to put on the shoes of the dreamers of the day. And he will try act out his dreams, much to the peril of the poor and underprivileged.

Much of the offensive things he says have a kernel of truth and the ring of modern common sense. But, I’d argue, there is nothing more dangerous to progress than modern common sense. We are in an age where things that only 10 years ago would have been deemed racist are now common sense.

The “logic” of Trump, Brexit and both the Far Right and Regressive Left has crystallised around beliefs that are, at their core, divisive. All the soundbites, that previously would have been morally inappropriate, are now deemed fine as long as passed off under the “appealing to their base” category.

Leo, I’ll be the first to admit, is far from the worst purveyor of the Us vs Them narrative. I saw a PBP/AAA poster recently calling for ‘Repeal, Resist & Revolt’. As an alliteration it’s fine, as a campaign slogan it’s dipping its toes into incitement. Hardly a message that refutes the claims of those who call AAA/PBP/Solidarity the “hard left”.

Common sense says “Welfare Cheats Cheat Us All‘. Common sense says we should all support equality of opportunity. Common sense says we need to limit the number of immigrants into the country. Common sense says issues are complex.

The reality is that only 11 gardaí worked with the ODCE on the Seán Fitzpatrick trial, but an estimated 30 gardaí worked on Operation Mizen into Irish Water protesters.

The reality is that the only system offering equality of opportunity is that of the Lotto; yiz buy yer ticket, yiz takes yer chances.

The reality says immigration is a net benefit to the host country. Reality says complex issues often have simple solutions.

When Galileo was tried as a heretic for claiming the Earth rotated around the Sun, he was given a choice; abjure, curse and detest his opinions, or death. So he did what any sane person would do. He publicly recanted his beliefs. The story goes that upon finishing his proclamation he mumbled under his breath the rebellious phrase “And yet it moves”.

Modern common sense is rooted in bias, in fear and in greed. It is a poison that has taken root in political and economic discourse. It gives licence to extreme elements on both sides to abjure, curse and detest the other side.

It’s the reason false lines like ‘those who pay for nothing‘ have near permanent residency in mainstream op-eds. It’s the reason those on the opposite side of the argument see conspiracy in every element of government, instead of opportunity.

Galileo knew common sense was nonsense. Much of what passes off today as common sense, playing to the base and political discourse is rooted in old beliefs and disproven nonsense.

The extreme elements on both sides must be dragged out into the light. The dangerous rhetoric and grandstanding must be called out for what it is and not explained away.

The so called centrists who think common sense means “the centre must hold” must be reminded of Galileo’s codicil “and yet it moves”.

Tony Groves is a full-time financial consultant and part-time commentator. With over 18 years experience in the financial industry and a keen interest in politics, history and “being ornery”, he has published one book and writes regularly at Trickstersworld

Pic: Rollingnews

This morning.

It’s being reported that a report by the Government’s Special Rapporteur on Child Protection Dr Geoffrey Shannon (above) on Ireland’s child protection system – looking at 5,400 cases, from 2008 to 2015, where gardaí removed children from their parents under Section 12 of the Child Care Act – is to be published.

It will be published by Assistant Garda Commissioner John O’Driscoll.

Section 12 of the act allows gardai to remove a child if they believe there is a serious risk to the child’s health or welfare.

It’s being reported that both Tusla and the gardaí are criticised in the report.

Further to this.

Aoife Hegarty, of RTÉ Investigates, spoke to Audrey Carville on Morning Ireland earlier, ahead of her own report on the matter this evening.

Ms Hegarty said, in addition to a report on Mr Shannon’s examination, she’ll be looking at “disturbing revelations” concerning a boy in the south east of Ireland.

Ms Hegarty said:

“We’ve been following a number of child protection cases. They include a case that’s currently before the courts in which our child protection services again come under the spotlight. In terms of the actions that the Child Family Agency Tusla has, or indeed hasn’t, taken in terms of vulnerable children.

We also examine another case which we came across again a child was left in a foster placement, despite allegations of sexual abuse and we’ll show various documentation from that case which we’ve seen and lastly, we’ll feature new revelations on the quality of care provided by child protection services in the south east.

“I suppose by now we’re all well familiar with the very sad story of Grace, that young woman with profound intellectual disabilities who was left in a foster home in the south east for 20 years, despite serious allegations, a woman who was recently awarded over €6million in the High Court.

But tonight, we reveal yet more disturbing revelations from the Waterford area. This time in relation to the care provided to a young boy. In all, the programme raises very serious questions for our child protection authorities and whether, in all cases, they’re functioning adequately.

RTÉ Investigates is on RTÉ One at 10.35pm this evening.

Call for cultural change in child protection system (RTE)

A dolphin’s carcass was found at the Parchment Square Student Accommodation complex on the Model Farm Road, Cork.

Some animals’ rights types have said
That a dolphin, even if it’s dead
Shouldn’t come to a bash
Where a lad on the lash
Might carry it over his head.

John Moynes

Pics via


Fergal Barry writes:

Today on 96FM’s The Opinion Line, PJ Coogan spoke to Captain Paul Watson, of The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, about his offer of a €2,000 reward in relation to individuals seen dancing with a sea creature in the Parchment Square complex. (Some reports call it a dolphin but the species is uncertain).