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Tuesday, 8th January 2019

Council to write to Minster over Lourdes Hospital name change

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Councillor Paul Bell (right) taking part in Sunday's protest march to the Lourdes Hospital.

Louth County Council is to write to the Minister for Health Simon Harris to ask him to intervene with management at Our lady of Lourdes Hospital in the row over the proposal to rename the Hospital.

Councillor Paul Bell proposed the motion at last night’s Borough District of Drogheda meeting and it was unanimously supported.

“I call on this Council to immediately and urgently communicate to the Minister for Health Simon Harris T.D. and the Interim Director General of the HSE to stop the proposed name change of the Hospital" Bell said in his motion.

He asked that this be done "In recognition of the historic relationship between the citizens of Drogheda and Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, the Medical Missionaries of Mary and in particular the founder of the MMM, the late Mother Mary Martin who is loved and honoured by the citizens of Drogheda and further afield in recognition of her dedication and sacrifice in providing medical services.”

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Speaking on the motion Cllr. Bell said that the HSE had done its best to eradicate any memory of Mother Mary Martin from the hospital and that now they propose to remove he name.

“It is a fact of life” he said, “that there are a number of teaching and university hospitals in the State that retain their religious names.

Whilst not wishing to gloss over the negative parts of the hospital’s history, Cllr. Bell said that the Lourdes was funded by the citizens of Drogheda and it was much loved. He also mentioned that the hospital relies on staff from many different nationalities none of whom had any problems with the current name.

Councillor Kevin Callan said that he was delighted to second the motion saying that the reality is that the hospital would not exist without the vision of Mother Mary Martin.

“What the HSE and hospital management are trying to do is a monumental PR disaster” Callan said.

Sinn Féin Councillor Kenneth Flood proposed an amendment, which was accepted, that the letter should state that there should be no name change at the hospital without consultation with the public.

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