The St Vincent's Healthcare Group has said it has today completed the legal transfer of the Religious Sisters of Charity’s shareholding in the group to a new company, St Vincent’s Holdings CLG.

This is part of the legal process for the new structure for the new National Maternity Hospital at the St Vincent's campus.

Under the new structure, there will be a new National Maternity Hospital company with nominated directors from St Vincent's and the National Maternity Hospital.

Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly recently said that he would not be bringing any proposal to Cabinet until the legal arrangements underpinning the project were finalised and that it would provide an assurance that all legally permissible services would be provided at the new facility.

Sr Patricia Lenihan, the Superior General of the Religious Sisters of Charity, said today that they will have no role in the future of the new independent charity, the St Vincent’s Healthcare Group, St Vincent’s Holding CLG, or the new National Maternity Hospital.

The new company, St Vincent's Holdings CLG, is a not-for-profit group with charitable status. The directors are Professor Michael Keane, Sharen McCabe and Dr David Brophy.

Around €51 million has already been spent on enabling works at the St Vincent's campus.

A view of what the new hospital will look like when completed

Dr Peter Boylan, a former master of the National Maternity Hospital, said that what was announced today does not change anything.

He said that the new company St Vincent's Holdings CLG is a private company and a Catholic organisation company.

Dr Boylan said that it will own the land on which the new hospital is to be built and the new company is a successor organisation to the Religious Sisters of Charity.

He said they will have to uphold the values and principles that have existed and so there are major issues about the access for women to medical procedures at the proposed new facility and what the definition of "clinically appropriate" treatment will mean.

In response to points made by Dr Boylan, the St Vincent's Hospital Group said this evening that all procedures legally permissible are and will be conducted in SVHG hospitals.

It said the company structure for the project is bound by Irish company law, and its constitutions reflect compliance with national and international best practice guidelines on medical ethics and the laws of Ireland.

The land on which the new hospital is due to be built is expected to be leased to the State for 299 years, in a deal still to be agreed with Government.