Saturday 24 March 2018

€22m spent on Mater site will have to be written off

Eilish O'Regan Health Correspondent

THE Government will have to write off €22m of the €33m spent on the failed attempt to build the new national children's hospital at the Mater campus in Dublin.

The massive bill is for planning, design and consultancy fees and other costs racked up since 2007, even though a sod was never turned.

The Mater site is now eliminated from Health Minister James Reilly's final shortlist for the children's hospital location, with only Connolly and St James's hospitals left as contenders.


An estimated €11m of the work carried out, mainly in design, may be carried over to another location, but the rest of the money will have to be written off.

The estimate is understood to have been provided to the Department of Health last July by the state-appointed board charged with overseeing the building of the hospital.

A planning application to build the 16-storey hospital at the Mater site was turned down last March by An Bord Pleanala.

Health Minister James Reilly is expected to bring a memo to the Government recommending the new site on Wednesday week.

New figures show the cost of the project, under the National Paediatric Hospital Development Board chaired by Harry Crosbie, has jumped to €33m.

The business services team cost in the region of €20.1m including €5m to the integrated design crew and €2.6m spent on project management.

The board, set up in 2007, entered into fixed price contracts with firms involved in areas such as design, but additional fees also had to be paid for unexpected work.

Around €3m was paid in 2012 in these additional fees, which were sanctioned by the board when it last met in July.

The overall bill includes €5.3m for staffing and other consultancy costs and expenses.

Two staff on combined salaries totalling more than €250,000 are employed in the offices of the new hospital's project team. They are acting chief executive of the board Jim Farragher and medical director Emma Curtis.

Irish Independent

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News