Former Garda Commissioner Nóirín O'Sullivan has joined the board of the National Maternity Hospital as it deals with the ongoing controversy around its proposed move to a new site in Elm Park in Dublin.

Ms O'Sullivan retired from the force in 2017 after three years in the top role and 36 years in An Garda Síochána.

She joined the hospital board at the end of May along with hotelier Pat McCann.

In October 2018, Ms O'Sullivan was appointed UN Assistant Secretary General for Security and Safety.

Last week, the deputy chair of the National Maternity Hospital Nicholas Kearns said he would retire with immediate effect after six years in the role.

The board will meet again next week to elect a new deputy chair from among its members.

Meanwhile, the Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly has engaged with the various sides in an attempt to break the impasse around the ownership of the land on which the new hospital will be built.

Mr Donnelly has said his strong preference is that the state should own the land.

However, last month St Vincent's Healthcare Group rejected Government calls to sell the land to the state, insisting it must retain ownership of the site for clinical and governance reasons.

Opposition TDs have called on the Government to acquire the land by compulsory purchase order.

The Government has not ruled this out but Tánaiste Leo Varadkar has said that going down that route would delay the project for many years.

The land is currently owned by the Religious Sisters of Charity which plans to gift it to a private charity.