Public ownership for public institutions – ending religious control of schools and hospitals.

June 15th, 2009 | by Andrew Ó Baoill |

“The great motto of Mother Mary Aikenhead, who founded the Sisters of Charity, was ‘give to the poor what the rich could buy with money.’ What better way to live up to this mission, and to make recompense for the wrongs done to children, than to stop taking from the poor to allow the rich to buy health with money?” Fintan O’Toole lays out an argument for ending the role of religious orders in owning Irish hospitals. Read the piece for details of how government policy is making the rich richer, at the expense of a properly planned public health system. Similar to the argument last week, in the Dáil, from Ruairi Quinn of Labour that primary schools should be handed over to the state by the 18 orders named in the Ryan report: “The legal ownership of those schools should be transferred without any contribution and in return the schools should continue for the time being under the existing patronship arrangements until such time as we democratically and collectively decide how best to do it. We are the only country in Europe – including countries such as Catholic Spain, Catholic Italy and Catholic Austria – where the primary school system is controlled by private organisations.”

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