Monday, March 20, 2017

Six Catholic Hospitals in Dublin Together Worth Over €1bn

Hospitals owned by two religious orders that have underpaid millions in redress scheme

Six Catholic Hospitals in Dublin Together Worth Over €1bn

Two of the Catholic religious orders that have under-contributed to the redress scheme for survivors of institutional abuse own hospitals valued at nearly €1.1 billion, financial documents show.

The Sisters of Mercy and the Sisters of Charity, which together own six hospitals in Dublin, were both identified in a recent report as having contributed a fraction of the amounts they originally promised to fund the scheme.

The two public hospitals and one private hospital owned by the Sisters of Charity through the St Vincent’s Healthcare Group are worth €434 million, according to documents filed at the Companies Registration Office.

St Vincent’s University Hospital is valued at €255 million, St Vincent’s Private at €156 million and St Michael’s Hospital in Dún Laoghaire at €2 million. And a carpark at St Vincent’s is worth an estimated €21 million

The group makes annual payments of €2.6 million to its owners, the Religious Sisters of Charity: €1.2 million for rent, €1.1 million for a leasehold purchase, and €300,000 for “amounts due”.

The recent comptroller and auditor general’s report said the Sisters of Charity offered to contribute €5 million to the cost of the redress scheme but that only €2 million of this has been realised. The last payment was made in 2013.
Sisters of Mercy
Meanwhile, three hospitals controlled by the Sisters of Mercy have been valued at almost €650 million, according to official filings of the holding company controlled by the order, Mater Misericordiae and the Children’s University Hospitals Ltd.

The Mater Hospital is valued at €543 million, the Children’s University Hospital at Temple Street at €92 million, and Cappagh orthopaedic hospital in Finglas at €13 million. The valuations date from 2005 so their present worth could be lower.

The land and buildings at each hospital were funded by the State but are the property of the holding company, financial records indicate. They cannot be disposed of without the consent of the Minister for Health.

The C&AG report said the Sisters of Mercy offered €127.5 million, but that just €24.9 million of this offer has been realized.

The Sisters of Mercy responded that it had honored all its commitments under the scheme. Responding to the report, it said the property offered lost value as a result of the economic downturn, but that the order had always made clear its contribution was “subject to the fluctuations in value attaching to individual properties”.
The order also owns the National Rehabilitation Hospital in Dún Laoghaire and Mercy University Hospital in Cork.

Minister for Health Simon Harris and Fianna Fail leader Micheál Martin have suggested in recent weeks that Catholic interests in healthcare should be handed over to the State.

They were responding to the comptroller’s report, which showed that religious orders have contributed €84 million to the cost of redress for clerical sex abuse victims out of €226 million originally promised.

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