Irish public wants church to withdraw from healthcare, poll shows

Mater University Hospital, Dublin

Three out of four people now believe that the Catholic church should pull put of the ownership and governance of healthcare institutions in the wake of yet another scandal about the church's role in child abuse and the cover-up of that abuse, reports

In the latest readers' poll by asked whether, in the wake of the damning Cloyne report, the Catholic church should be allowed to maintain any involvement in healthcare, 75percent said no, 21percent said yes, while 4percent were undecided.

Their poll result reflects public concern over the church's involvement in hospitals, including children's hospitals when there has been such abuse scandal in the past years.

Details of horrendous abuse and a staggering cover-up were revealed in the official report of the Diocese of Cloyne.

Since the publication of the Cloyne report, Taoiseach (Prime Minister of Ireland) Enda Kenny has launched a scathing attack on the Vatican over its role in the Cloyne scandal.

Speaking to the Irish parliament, Kenny had accused the Catholic Church hierarchy of downplaying ‘the rape and torture of children’ to protect its power, standing and reputation.

"For the first time in Ireland, a report into child sexual abuse exposes an attempt by the Holy See to frustrate an inquiry in a sovereign, democratic republic, as little as three years ago, not three decades ago. In doing so, the Cloyne Report excavates the dysfunction, disconnection, elitism and the narcissism that dominate the culture of the Vatican to this day, " the Taoiseach said.

At present, The Sisters of Mercy and Sisters of Charity orders still own two of Ireland's biggest hospitals - the Mater and St Vincent's in Dublin city.

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The Sisters of Mercy ran a number of industrial schools in the past including the notorious Goldenbridge. The Sisters of Charity were also involved in running institutions where abuse took place, reports

The Mater Hospital's website states: The Mater Misericordiae University Hospital is a single member company limited by guarantee with a share capital...the company is a subsidiary of Mater Misericordiae University Hospital and the Children's University Hospitals Limited...the majority of the members of the parent company are Sisters of Mercy and the remaining members represent the Catholic Archdiocese of Dublin, the Catholic Nurses Guild of Ireland, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul and the medical consultants of the Mater Misericordiae University Hospital and of the Children's University Hospital, Temple Street."

A list of of hospitals in which the Catholic church has a major involvement in ownership and governance includes:

* Children's University Hospital, Temple Street (Sisters of Mercy).

* St Michael's Hospital, Dun Laoghaire (Sisters of Charity).

* National Rehabilitation Hospital, Dun Laoghaire (Sisters of Mercy).

* Our Lady's Children's Hosital, Crumlin (Chaired by Catholic Archbishop   of Dublin).

* National Maternity Hospital (Chaired by Catholic Archbishop of Dublin)

* Cappagh National Orthopedic Hospital (Sisters of Mercy).

Two voluntary hospitals formerly run by religious orders - Our Lady of Lourdes in Drogheda and Portiuncula in Ballinasloe, became State-run hospitals in recent years.

To see poll results - click here.