The 25-page agreement between Holles Street Hospital and the St Vincent's Healthcare Group on the new National Maternity Hospital has been published by the two hospitals.

It says there will be "clinical independence in the provision of maternity, gynaecology, obstetrics and neonatal services (without religious, ethnic or other distinction) in the hospital".

There will be "legal autonomy of hospital operations" and "protection of State investment and interests".

The agreement does not specifically state that any medical procedure which is in accordance with the laws of the Republic of Ireland will be carried out at the new hospital however St Vincent's says this is the case.

The St Vincent's Healthcare Group will own the hospital but the Minister for Health will have a "Golden Share" and the State will have a lien on the building in accordance with normal State funding arrangements.

The publication of the agreement has been welcomed by Minister for Health Simon Harris.

Minister Harris said that the boards of the two hospitals are meeting this week and the minister and his officials will arrange meetings with the hospitals shortly.

He repeated his request for time to be allowed for the detailed work necessary.

A planning application decision is not expected until the autumn, he said.

Mr Harris says he intends to report to Government on the project at the end of May.

At that stage, he said, he expects to have further details on the legal and other arrangements envisaged and will make this public.

Differences over the new National Maternity Hospital deepened today when the former master of Holles street, Dr Peter Boylan, said he had been asked to resign from the board.

He had criticised the deal that would see the new hospital move to the St Vincent's Hospital site which is owned by the Religious Sisters of Charity.

Speaking on RTÉ's Primetime, Dr Boylan said the report published tonight was not an agreement but was instead a report from mediator Kieran Mulvey to the Minister for Health.