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  1. #31
    Kilbarry1 Kilbarry1 is offline

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    Jul 2008

    Quote Originally Posted by toxic avenger View Post
    It wasn't just McQuaid and McBride he pissed off, he pissed off half the people he worked with, and rewrote history to self-mythologize. And, as I said, the real enemies who brought down the scheme were the medics. The Church's opposition to it, I believe, was wrong. But it wasn't decisive.
    From the Wikipedia article on John Charles McQuaid [my emphasis]

    Mother and Child Scheme 1950/51 (The Archbishop and Dr. Noel Browne)

    In the early 1950s, Noel Browne, the First Inter-Party Government's Minister of Health, – shocked by the absence of ante-natal care for pregnant women, and the resulting infant mortality rates in Ireland – proposed providing free access to health care for mothers and children in a new Mother and Child Scheme. The Archbishop's criticism of the scheme, compounded by political misjudgements by Browne, as well as tensions between Browne and Sean MacBride, his political party leader, and Browne's behaviour towards other ministers, helped pave the way for the government's decision to withdraw the scheme.

    In his memoirs published in October 2000, former Minister for Health [1982-87], Barry Desmond launched a strong attack on his former Labour Party colleague, Dr Noel Browne, accusing him of "shamefully" destroying records in the Department of Health to bolster his own political image. Desmond wrote that Noel Browne, a political icon for many, fostered divisions in Irish politics and "led young political radicals on his ego merry-go-round".

    In his book 'Finally and In Conclusion', Barry Desmond described Noel Browne as having a "semi-persecuted presence" and said that he was "quite incapable of consistent loyalty to the democratically elected executive of any of the parties he joined." Desmond said that Browne's own memoir, 'Against the Tide' (published in 1986), was "a poisonous denigration of some 90 persons he had come across in his career". He also laid the blame for the collapse of the Mother and Child Scheme with Browne, saying he missed 80 of the 261 cabinet meetings held during his term as Minister for Health.[29]

    In 2005 "That Day's Struggle" a memoir by Sean MacBride was finally published. MacBride who died in 1988, had been the leader of Clann na Poblachta, the party to which Noel Browne belonged, when both of them were Ministers in the Inter-Party Government led by John A. Costello. In his memoir, MacBride gives a description of his party colleague that has much in common with that provided by Barry Desmond. He depicts Browne as a destructive, inefficient, irresponsible and childish politician who was bent on fighting with the Catholic Church and bringing down the government of which he was a minister.

    Sean MacBride claims that Noel Browne, who was appointed Minister for Health on his first day as a TD in 1948, orchestrated "a systematic effort to pick a row with the bishops" over his Mother and Child Scheme. "He did say . . . 'if I can really pick a row with the Irish hierarchy, I'll be made.'" He also says Browne wouldn't attend cabinet meetings, claiming they were a waste of time. He "manoeuvred himself" into becoming a martyr and because of his "irresponsible" handling of the issue, the Mother and Child scheme failed. MacBride concluded that Noel Browne "definitely decided to bring down the government" and his aim was also to wreck the party of which he was then a senior figure. McBride is not a neutral commentator on Browne; he was a leading member of the government that folded under pressure from the bishops owing to their opposition to the "Mother & Child" scheme.

    The fallout from divisions in government did eventually lead to the fall of the inter-party government in 1951. It also led to the demise of Clann na Poblachta.[30]

    An unpublished essay by Dr Browne was the main source of John Cooney's allegations (in 1999) that Archbishop McQuaid was a paedophile. It was not the only potentially libelous manuscript penned by Browne. In "Passionate Outsider", John Horgan's[31] biography of Dr Browne published in 2000, Horgan revealed that the PUBLISHED version of Browne's memoir "Against the Tide" did not tell the full story: "No version of the original text is extant but notes of the editing process, contain among other things lists of people who might be expected to sue for libel if Noel Browne's comments about them were published. They included as might be expected Sean McBride, Barry Desmond, May and Justin Keating (two pages about Justin Keating were eventually excised), C.J. Charles Haughey, Garret Fitzgerald and Daniel Morrissey ".[32]

    Noel Browne slandered everybody - not just the Archbishop. He got worse over the years but obviously the seeds were there from the very beginning. Note that several of the people referred to by John Horgan were left-wing, liberal or anti-cleric but that didn't protect them from Browne's slanders!
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  2. #32
    Cruimh Cruimh is offline
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    Apr 2010

    What The Bishops wrote from Maynooth:

    "The powers taken by the State in the proposed Mother and Child health service are in direct opposition to the rights of the family and of the individual and are liable to very great abuse. Their character is such that no assurance that they would be used in moderation could justify their enactment. If adopted they would constitute a ready-made instrument for totalitarian aggression"
    Church power in the south of Ireland ... Home rule or Rome rule?
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  3. #33
    irishpancake irishpancake is offline
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    Apr 2007

    Quote Originally Posted by toxic avenger View Post

    You have quite the capacity for reading and implying things into posts which were never said.

    My problem with Browne has nothing to do with the content of the bill - if anything my problem was that he got in the way of the bill himself. I lost far too many family members to TB in Sligo to be convincingly accused of siding with the Church on this - on the contrary I am a rabid supporter and defender of socialized medicine and the NHS. Therefore I would have been very pro-the Mother and Child Scheme and very anti-the Church's position at that time. None of which changes the fact that it was the medical profession, a real cartel and enemy of the people, which killed the bill, not the Church, and it had a great ally in so doing in the ego of Dr. Browne himself.

    But please, don't let that stand in the way of an irrational rant...

    Please identify any ranting or irrational statement(s) in the post you are presumably referring to??

    I have provided quotations from reputable journalists and sources.

    It is quite clear that the Catholic Hierarchy conspired in an undemocratic fashion and succeeded in their aim of influencing just what scheme was out in place and also ensured that Browne was ousted.

    This is to me unacceptable in a Democratic Republic, which RoI allegedly was at the time.

    I am merely disagreeing with you, if that is allowed??

    No ranting at all.

    If anyone is being irrational I am afraid it is your good self.
    Last edited by irishpancake; 19th June 2013 at 10:01 PM.
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  4. #34
    publicrealm publicrealm is offline
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    Aug 2007

    Quote Originally Posted by toxic avenger View Post
    Yep, this is well-known among historians, but somehow never filters into popular consciousness or media portrayals of the period - the medical profession, a cartel, was the real nemesis of the scheme, but has gotten away scot-free over the years. But another reason the scheme failed was Browne himself - an unsympathetic, grandstanding, self-mythologizing egotist who pissed off nearly everyone he worked with, and earned the scheme more enemies than it would otherwise have had. His capacity for rewriting history afterwards was truly amazing.
    I seem to recall reading that the Medics were concerned because their true earnings would become known as the proposed system would record all transactions?
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  5. #35
    sadmal sadmal is online now
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    May 2007

    Quote Originally Posted by dresden8 View Post
    On most issues Cruimh is an annoying sectarian brit supremacist and by god it's easy to hate him for the prejudiced apololgist arsehole he is.

    Then McQuaid comes up.
    How do you feel about Glenshane4?
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  6. #36
    Jezza Jezza is offline

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    Aug 2010

    I know next to nothing about him, but some of the critisisms here beg the question, was he just years ahead of his time in seeing Catholic Ireland for exactly what it was, and not being afraid to say so?
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  7. #37
    toxic avenger toxic avenger is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jezza View Post
    I know next to nothing about him, but some of the critisisms here beg the question, was he just years ahead of his time in seeing Catholic Ireland for exactly what it was, and not being afraid to say so?
    No. There was no shortage of people who wanted similar or even wider provisions brought in. In fact his personality and egocentrism played a huge role in ensuring they didn't get it. And he subsequently cast himself as martyr by rewriting history.
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  8. #38
    Deconstruction Deconstruction is offline

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    Feb 2012

    Rhona argues that although the Catholic Church objected to the scheme because it involved advice on family planning, the decisive factor in blocking it was the medical lobby, who argued it was 'creeping socialism'. Which brings up the question of whether the episode was really a clash between Church and state or state and economic vested interests.
    A good OP, thank you. As to the above section,whose clash with who; I think it was solely a Church vs State, however in taking the weight and pressure from themselves, the church they allow others to intervene. In Ireland 1950's, the church had the whole country under its thumb, and hence to quote your linked article:
    'The most disquieting feature of this sorry business is the revelation that the real government of the country may not in fact be exercised by the elected representatives of the people, as we believed it was, but by the Bishops, meeting secretly and enforcing their rule by means of private interviews with ministers and by documents of a secret and confidential nature sent by them to Ministers and to the Head of the alleged Government of the State. As a Catholic, I object to this usurpation of authority to the Government by the bishops'
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  9. #39
    The Herren The Herren is offline
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    Nov 2011

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnD66 View Post
    New article here by Rhona McCord looking at the Mother and Child Scheme of 1951.

    The Mother and Child Scheme The role of Church and State. | The Irish Story

    The Mother and Child Scheme was part of an initiative by the inter-party government and in particular Minister Noel Browne to introduce universal health care for mothers and children without a means test. In the even the proposal was dropped and Browne was forced to resign. This is generally presented as an instance of the Catholic Church dictating to government.

    Rhona argues that although the Catholic Church objected to the scheme because it involved advice on family planning, the decisive factor in blocking it was the medical lobby, who argued it was 'creeping socialism'. Which brings up the question of whether the episode was really a clash between Church and state or state and economic vested interests.

    Although the medical card now covers most people who cannot afford to pay for medical inrance we never did geta free at the point of access health system like the post 1945 NHS in Britain.
    1951??? FFS! Why not 1169 or maybe 1601?. Now they were interesting times and the Church is in the background of both so your obsession will be sated.
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  10. #40
    james5001 james5001 is offline
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    Oct 2009

    ''If the scheme did not involve a means test, most of the mothers of the country would take advantage of it; the State would pay for these cases and the Income Tax Commissioners would have the full amount of doctor's income. In short the doctors who would implement the scheme would have to pay their fair share of income tax for the first time ever. It is no wonder that the doctors gathered up every group they could use to defeat the scheme.'' (my bold)
    Comhar (irish language magazine) editorial, from Dermot Keogh's Twentieth Century Ireland, page 219.

    ''....No, I and many can't resist the feeling that the bishops were pulled by the doctors who want to remain gentlemen and not let officials near them or their tax returns.''
    Liam O'Briain writing to Michael Hayes of Fine Gael.
    From Diarmaid Ferriter's The Transformation Of Ireland.
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