Children's hospital to be 'joint Cabinet decision'
THE location of the new national children's hospital will be a "collective Cabinet decision", Taoiseach Enda Kenny has said.
Mr Kenny and Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore are to meet with Health Minister James Reilly and his officials in the next 10 days to discuss the proposed location before bringing a memo to Cabinet.
He said Dr Reilly was reflecting on the report of an expert group, chaired by businessman Frank Dolphin, which looked at over 40 applications to be the location of the hospital and analysed the criteria necessary to inform the final selection.
Connolly Hospital in Blanchardstown, north-west Dublin, is believed to be the favourite site, if the analysis of the Dolphin report is followed.
Although the report did not pick a site, it is understood that the doctors, planners and architects on the expert group gave it the highest commendation.
St James's Hospital in Dublin could also be in the running but its inner city location and potential for prolonged planning objections leaves it at a disadvantage. The disruption caused to patients in the adult hospital during the building process would also have to be considered.
Mr Kenny, Mr Gilmore and Dr Reilly will be at pains to ensure the hospital selection leaves no scope for accusations of 'stroke' politics in the wake of the major controversy over the location of primary care health centre's in Dr Reilly's constituency.