Thursday 23 January 2020

'I thought common sense would prevail' - charity chief

Jonathan Irwin of the Jack and Jill Foundation. Photo: Tony Gavin
Jonathan Irwin of the Jack and Jill Foundation. Photo: Tony Gavin
Ryan Nugent

Ryan Nugent

Business groups in Dublin have welcomed the new National Children's Hospital getting the go-ahead but a children's charity is "disappointed" at the location and cost of the hospital.

Jack and Jill Foundation chief executive Jonathan Irwin said that his foundation had done everything in its power to have the location of the hospital moved to Blanchardstown, near the M50, the same location as the current Connolly Hospital.

Mr Irwin said he "really thought common sense would prevail" in the hospital's final location.

"I am disappointed for myself, but more so for the families under the wing of Jack & Jill," Mr Irwin said yesterday.

However, the Faculty of Paediatrics at the Royal College of Surgeons sees it as a 'radical improvement' of services for children across the country.

"The new hospital will improve the standard of care by having an integrated service between child health experts - medical, nursing and allied health staff, for all children who need treatment for acute illnesses and chronic or long-term illnesses," said Raymond Barry, dean of the faculty.

The Dublin Chamber of Commerce believes the hospital will provide a long-term jobs boost in the area.

CEO Gina Quin said the hospital would provide paediatric care for more than one million children under the age of 15, with more than 1,000 jobs being created over the next five years.

"Locating the new children's hospital at St James' campus, an already mature teaching hospital, will also facilitate excellent teaching of the practice of paediatric medicine," Ms Quin explained.

Meanwhile, the Liberties Business Forum regards it as "an unprecedented urban regeneration opportunity for the area".

Chair of the forum, Catherine Heaney, said it had fully supported the project from its beginning.

"The development of the National Children's Hospital at St James's is a project of huge importance to Dublin 8 and its community," she said.

"It will see the location of a world-class facility for paediatric services right in the heart of our community," she added.

Irish Independent

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