Saturday 10 December 2016

John Crown: Farcical saga of children's hospital has to end now

Our Banana-Pleanala Republic is failing to put the needs of sick children first, writes John Crown

Published 26/02/2012 | 05:00

The saga of our severely botched attempt to develop a national children's hospital has now ascended from mere vaudevillian farce to an infernally authored metaphorical mini-series depicting all that is wrong in Irish public governance.

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An Bord Pleanala's rejection of the Mater campus for the hospital had, by its own admission, nothing whatsoever to do with the interests of sick children, or with the ease with which it could be accessed, although these arguments have resurfaced all week. No, they objected to its aesthetic impact on the Dublin skyline and views, and on the incongruity of its architecture in the local area. They voiced particular concern about the view from O'Connell Street(!).

When my incandescent rage had cooled down to a level that was compatible with rational thought, I was reminded of the scene in Fawlty Towers where Basil verbally skewers a demanding guest who complained of the lack of a view from her hotel room, by asking what she expected to see in Torquay. "Sydney Opera House perhaps? The hanging gardens of Babylon? Herds of wildebeest sweeping majestically across the plain?"

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