Reilly opts for Connolly as location for children's hospital
CONNOLLY Hospital in Dublin is to be put forward as the most suitable site for the new national children's hospital in a top level report.
The location in Blanchardstown in north-west Dublin -- first revealed in the Irish Independent a month ago -- will be recommended by Health Minister James Reilly when he delivers a report to Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore in the next 10 days. If they endorse the decision it will come before the Cabinet for final approval within the next fortnight.
Connolly, which made a low-key but impressive bid to be the child hospital location, looks set to win out over the Mater Hospital and St James's Hospital.
The report drawn up by Dr Reilly and his officials will be strongly based on the findings of an expert group of doctors, architects and planners chaired by businessman Frank Dolphin who assessed over 40 bids. The group did not come down in favour of any one location.
The Dolphin report is due to be published to support the site decision -- in contrast to the lack of documentation on the checklist of criteria relating to the extension of primary health care locations.
The children's hospital was originally earmarked to be built at the Mater but planning permission was rejected in March.
Connolly Hospital has 50 acres of free land on its own campus and there are another 89 acres in the adjoining National Sports campus.
The Connolly bid envisaged that the new hospital could be built by 2016 for less than €420m.
Dr Reilly's constituency is in Dublin North. Transport Minister Leo Varadkar and Labour's Social Protection Minister Joan Burton are in the constituency of Dublin West, where Connolly Hospital is located.