Media cover-up over new maternity hospital?

This morning I heard interviews with Dr Rhona Mahony (current Master of the National Maternity Hospital) on Newstalk and then RTE.

The Newstalk interview was basically a platform for Dr Mahony to present her “there is no problem” mantra with effectively no questioning of that at all.

RTE was tougher as Dr Mahony was repeatedly asked “why would a Catholic religious order agree to allow procedures in the new hospital that go against their Catholic ethos?” and “what do they get out of the agreement?”

Dr Mahony largely avoided the questions and had no real answer other than  that we should just trust them on the basis of their assurances given so far.

Given the long history of crimes against Irish women by Catholic religious orders any position based on simply trusting their good intentions or even anything they say in advance is clearly absurd.

There is also an obvious follow-up question by RTE (something the Newstalk anodyne interview was of course never going to ask). That is – “Can you explain why senior figures from the Catholic establishment have explicitly stated in the past few days that Canon Law applies to any institution owned by the Catholic Church?”

Another issue is that for the Catholic Church “medical best practice” for pregnant women (a phrase Dr Mahony repeated gave as the agreed basis for the operation of the new hospital) does not include those women having the right to choose to terminate their pregnancy. Surely Dr Mahony should have been asked – “what will happen in the case of a conflict over what “medical best practice” means – will “Canon Law” and “Catholic ethos” then come into play?”

Perhaps it was simple journalistic incompetence. However given that the basis for my hypothetical follow-up questions are all in the public domain and easily found that does not seem plausible. For instance I have heard many interviews of anti-water charges activists that were much more searching than what Dr Mahony had to cope with this morning.

And if it was not journalistic incompetence what was the reason?












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