THE money spent on the proposed new national children's hospital has now soared to €41m -- without a sod being turned.
The latest financial accounts come more than a year after St James's Hospital in Dublin was chosen as an alternative site for the facility after the original Mater Hospital site was rejected.
Around €39m had been spent on the project when it was planned for the Mater site -- and €26m of this had to be written off.
Health Minister James Reilly confirmed that the financial cost has now risen to €41m, and that building work, which is still contingent on planning permission being granted, will not start until 2015.
The new facility will see the merging of the three existing children's hospitals in Crumlin, Temple Street and Tallaght.
The Irish Independent recently reported that the new hospital will not be ready until the end of 2018.
Dr Reilly said: "In October, the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform announced that up to €200m would be made available for the new children's hospital from the sale of the National Lottery, adding to the existing €450m Exchequer funding.
"The level of funding now in place underlines the Government's commitment to this priority project, "he added.
However, he conceded that philanthropic, non-exchequer funding will also be sought.