Peter Boylan goes full Cromwell in Maternity Hospital row

Maybe this is a mad assumption, OK? Perhaps I’m way off-base here – please stop me if I’m getting too crazy.

But would you not say it’s fairly reasonable that St. Vincent’s Hospital – named after the Catholic figurehead St. Vincent – features the odd crucifix or religious icon here or there? That’s fairly understandable, right?I mean, after all, the hospital was established in 1834 by Mother Mary Aikenhead, a Catholic nun.

Aikenhead, with the help of Catholic Archbishop Daniel Murray, created the hospital from scratch. It literally did not exist until they set it up. There would be no St. Vincent’s hospital without them. And being Catholic people, in an overwhelmingly Catholic country, the hospital naturally had a Catholic motif which it has maintained to this day.

That’s not particularly difficult to understand, is it?

Well, to most of us, this is so obvious and innocuous, that it’s almost boring and taken for granted. Unless, of course, you’re Dr. Peter Boylan, in which case the idea of seeing a crucifix or being in the same building as a Mass is apparently a horrifying nightmare.

“Thank you to the person who sent me these pictures taken an hour ago in the “fully secular” St Vincent’s Hospital,” Boylan tweeted this week.

He then proceeded to list the awful things allegedly taking place within the building, including Mass in the hospital oratory (gasp), Mass on hospital TV (gasp), the Blessed Sacrament being exposed daily (double gasp), and more.

While Boylan claims the photos were taken “an hour ago,” one of the photos he includes contains a schedule on the wall for the “1st Week of Advent,” which would have been last November. So either the hospital staff have not updated their timetable in months, or this isn’t even true and risks whipping up Irish twitter into a frenzy of anti-Catholic rage and bigotry for no reason.

Regardless, let’s suppose it’s 100% correct and there are indeed Masses taking place in a hospital established by a nun and an archbishop – even if it is now owned by the State.

I think most normal people would react to that information with three words: “So effing what?” If you aren’t Catholic and hate the idea of Mass, you can always just, you know…not go?

Why is it that the same pro-abortion figureheads whose mantra was “If you don’t want an abortion, don’t get one,” seem to think there should be no Mass anywhere near their vicinity, even if others want it and find solace in it? Nobody is forcing you to do the stations of the cross or watch the Mass channel. If you don’t like it, you can simply ignore it.

Although I suppose throwing a tantrum on Twitter because you have to be near things you disagree with is an easier option.

Even notoriously liberal Fine Gael equality spokesperson, Jennifer Carroll MacNeill, says that having a chapel and a chaplain at a hospital can help “on hard days.”

O’Neill is a self-avowed atheist with gender pronouns in her twitter bio – this is not some radical Catholic fundamentalist. And yet, even she sees the value in having a place to turn to a higher power when you or someone you love is sick. Many people find solace in religion in times of crisis. And if you don’t, once again, you don’t have to engage with any of these things – they are options present at the hospital for those who want them.

Boylan later expressed outrage that a portrait of Mother Mary Aikenhead is still on the wall of the building, and that the hospital says it will be continuing her mission of helping the sick.

God forbid that the woman who founded the hospital should be given any acknowledgement or respect on its grounds whatsoever, right? It seems Boylan’s attitude to Aikenhead is “Thanks a lot for the hospital Mary – you can piss off now.” What a lovely way to treat this great Irish woman’s legacy. How absolutely charming.

As we know, the hospital is being run by the HSE and will provide all the services Boylan wants. It will have abortions and IVF and all the other procedures that Catholic institutions oppose.

In other words, he’s won – total unconditional surrender. He should be perfectly happy.

And yet, for the heinous crime of having a cross on the wall, or a room dedicated for Mass, he’s ranting in Twitter threads about how upset he is with the current arrangement. He’s not just opposed to Catholics being in charge of large institutions – he wants them stamped out entirely. It’s the saddest and pettiest thing one can imagine.

If people like Boylan have an axe to grind with a particular religion, you almost wish they’d just come out and say it, instead of continuing with this totally transparent passive aggressive sniping.

Share mdi-share-variant mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-printer mdi-chevron-left Prev Next mdi-chevron-right Related
Comments are open

On the Liveline Controversy, do you think Duffy or the LGBT groups are in the right?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...