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Mater site confirmed for children’s hospital

The Mater Hospital site, near Dublin city centre, has been confirmed as the location for the National’s Children’s Hospital.

The controversial site for the €650m hospital was selected by an independent review group including international doctors.

Health Minister James Reilly said today he was accepting the advice of the group, despite opposition to the new 445-bed Mater site for a number of reasons including parking access and a lack of recreational areas for children.

He said the group had analysed a number of issues including the cost of construction at alternative sites before deciding on the Mater.

However, opponents have questioned whether the Government will have the ability to raise the funds to build the hospital by the target date of 2016.

“I am now fully satisfied that the Mater is the right location,” Reilly said.

“The creation of a world class tertiary hospital will need the commitment of everyone, including all those involved in the delivery of health services to children and in our wider society.”

A final decision will be made on how to proceed with the construction will be made in September as part of the Government’s review of its capital spending programme.

The expert group stood by its decision today.

It said that alternative sites to the Mater, like Tallaght and Newlands Cross would be more expensive while Blanchardstown would only be marginally cheaper.