Saturday 20 January 2018

Hospital spent €3.7k on trees for Christmas

University Hospital Limerick
University Hospital Limerick

Gordon Deegan

A MAJOR hospital at the forefront of the emergency departments crisis spent almost €4,000 on three Christmas trees last year, new figures show.

Over the past number of days, University Hospital Limerick (UHL) has had the highest number of patients on trolleys with 42 patients in the hospital’s emergency department on trolleys yesterday morning.

Records released by UHL yesterday confirm that it spent €3,714 on three Christmas trees in December including a spend of almost €3,000 on one 30ft tree.

The information provided by UHL in response to an FOI request shows that the hospital paid Flowers Forever €2,976 (incl VAT) for the tree installed with lights attached and the taking down of the tree after Christmas.

The spend by UHL on the three trees is 41 times the €89 spend by Ennis General Hospital for an artificial tree.

Co-founder of the Clare Crusaders Clinic Cllr Ann Norton (Ind) yesterday described the spend by UHL as “an absolute disgrace”.

The clinic has to raise €250,000 every year for services provided to 400 special needs children and Cllr Norton said: “How can anyone justify spending almost €3,000 on one tree? It is crazy.”

UHL said in a statement that it puts up trees every year.

“This forms part of the way that the hospitals celebrate the festive season for patients, visitors and staff,” it said.

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