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  • Northside West

Fresh call to build kids’ hospital in Dublin 15

Friday, 19th February, 2016 8:00am

Story by Jack Gleeson
Fresh call to build kids’ hospital in Dublin 15

Connolly Hospital. PHOTO BY DARREN KINSELLA.

Fresh call to build kids’ hospital in Dublin 15

Connolly Hospital. PHOTO BY DARREN KINSELLA.

CAMPAIGNERS calling for the new national children’s hospital to be built at Connolly Hospital are not giving up on their dream despite plans being well under way to locate it in Dublin 8.

Last week a coalition of parent and children’s organisations under a ‘Connolly for Kids’ Hospital’ banner sent a petition to An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, demanding that the hospital be built at a 145-acre site off the M50 at Connolly.

The group say locating the new hospital beside St James’s is not a done deal and building it at the Connolly site would be faster and cheaper.

“St James’s is not ‘fait accompli’ contrary to popular belief, and we have collective responsibility to speak out now for future generations of children and make this a key election issue,” a spokesperson for the group said.

Supporters of the group include the Jack & Jill Foundation, Mummypages.ie, the New Children’s Hospital Alliance and Dr James Sheehan, Orthopaedic Surgeon & founder of the Blackrock Clinic.

“There is a saving of at least €200 million by building at Connolly and it could be operational within two years,” said Dr Sheehan.

“The St James’s site is riddled with construction complications and will be prone to cost overruns and construction delays.”

The Connolly site has support from many parents of sick children across Ireland including Fionnbar Walsh, father of the late Kerry teenager Donal.

He believes the Children’s Hospital should be located beside the M50 for better access for rural communities.

“Trying to cram it into a city centre site is not good for the rest of the country,” he said.

Sam Hogan, mother of a five-year-old girl with a life-long illness, says that having the children’s hospital at Connolly would be the fairytale come true.

“It would tick all the boxes and be a fantastic hospital for our children, whereas St James’s is just going to be exactly what we already have,” she added.

A decision from An Bord Pleanála on the St James’s planning application is due shortly following an oral hearing process that began at the end of last November.

The Connolly for Kids’ Hospital group has outlined their position online at connollyforkidshospital.com where details of their petition can be found.

 

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