Wednesday 17 January 2018

'I was delighted when I heard that permission was refused'

Mark Hilliard

"IT shouldn't be going ahead. It should be on the outskirts of the city. It's a nightmare."

One paramedic vented his opinions eagerly as he shuffled past Temple Street Children's Hospital with his two children in tow.

Parents with medical appointments here don't have a lot of time, particularly when they are paying for city centre parking or rushing back to beat the clampers. But they all have their views.

Whatever politicians scream at each other across the floor of the Dail, plenty more views can be found among parents outside any one of the city's hospitals.

"It's ridiculous. I'm waiting nearly eight months for an X-ray and we are still waiting on a diagnosis," said Jennifer Staunton (25), from Finglas, Dublin, who believes a new hospital would offer better service.

Ms Staunton believes her 10-month-old son Zachary might have cystic fibrosis or possibly chronic lung disease but nobody can tell her.

"It's not the staff; they are so good. It's just that they don't have the room. This country is supposed to be for children, not against children," she said.

"It's not fair on them; they didn't ask to get sick."

Amanda Dunne, who arrived at Temple Street from Coolock with her son Darius (5), agreed.

"It's a bad thing and there is nothing we can do. The country is shot to bits and to be honest I have three kids and I fear what it will be like in five years."

But there are those from outside Dublin who believe that the decision will now lead to a more accessible site.

"I was delighted when I heard that it was refused because I would still have to come into the city and look for parking," said Orla Donovan from Thurles, Co Tipperary, whose son Kevin (7) has spina bifida.

"Somewhere around the M50 (would be preferable) where it is accessible to everyone regardless of where in the country you are coming from."

Meanwhile, at Our Lady's Hospital for Sick Children in Crumlin, the pattern of divided opinion is identical.

"I thought someone might have a bit of cop on and use the greenfield site that they have out at Newlands Cross," said Philip Burke from Newcastle, Co Dublin, who was with his son Aaron (14), a leukaemia patient.

But Geraldine O'Neill from Naas, whose 14-month-old daughter Romy underwent a liver transplant, is delighted: "It would have been total upheaval. I think there was a good site over on the Naas Road that would suit a lot of people from around the country."

Irish Independent

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