Dáil passes motion to secure public ownership of National Maternity Hospital site
Two Green Party TDs voted in favour of the motion, breaking the Government whip.
The Dáil has passed a motion calling on the Government to secure public ownership for the new National Maternity Hospital on public land.
The vote passed 56 votes to 10, with 69 abstentions on Wednesday (18 May).
The motion was introduced by Sinn Féin's Health spokesperson David Cullinane on Tuesday (17 May), and moved to ask the Government to renegotiate with the St Vincent's Healthcare Group (SVGH) to secure ownership of the land that the National Maternity Hospital will occupy.
Government parties chose to abstain from the motion, with the exception of two Green Party TDs, Neasa Hourigan and Patrick Costello.
"I know this is frustrating for our Government partners but the issue of the National Maternity Hospital has been incredibly frustrating, confusing, and challenging for many and this motion reflected my own concerns and the concerns of many," Costello said in a statement following the vote.
"I could not in good conscience vote against it.
"I know breaking the whip is a serious issue and as I have said earlier I will accept the sanctions imposed from my action.
"I understand my Green Party colleagues are meeting tonight and will decide on the appropriate sanction for my vote.
"Thank you to my supporters but mainly thank you to the many campaigners and advocates on the issue," the statement ended.
Cabinet has already reportedly approved the relocation of the National Maternity Hospital in Dublin from Holles Street to St Vincent’s.
As part of the much-discussed plan, the Government would lease the land from St Vincent's for 299 years at €10 a year.
The Green Party sent the following statement to JOE:
"The Green Party parliamentary party tonight agreed to a proposal to remove the party whip and suspend Deputy Patrick Costello and Deputy Neasa Hourigan from the parliamentary party for six months, after they failed to vote with the government on a private members motion.
"The decision was reached by consensus. The parliamentary party regrets having to take this step but believes our effectiveness in government relies on unity in every vote.
"Both deputies will have an opportunity to apply for readmission at the end of this six month period."