Start children's hospital and stop endless debate, says Drumm
The time has come to start "digging" the foundations of the new national children's hospital and stop the endless debate about its location, former HSE chief Professor Brendan Drumm said yesterday.
He was speaking after Health Minister James Reilly said he would bring proposals on the location of the new hospital to Cabinet before the end of the month.
The Irish Independent reported earlier this week that Connolly Hospital in Blanchardstown, north-west Dublin, is now the front runner for the hospital's location.
Prof Drumm, who was appointed to the state board overseeing the project after his departure from the HSE, said he feared that the hospital could end up getting lost in the same manner as in other cities where a suitable location could not be agreed.
"If Connolly is chosen we have to support that rather than starting a whole new debate," he told RTE's 'News at One'.
He claimed that the Mater Hospital site was still suitable and insisted this location would allow for the children's hospital to be built quicker. However, planning permission for the original design of the hospital at the Mater site has already been rejected by An Bord Pleanala.
He believes it will take another four to five years before a tender for the construction of the hospital will be signed if it is given to another location. However, planning experts disagree, particularly as Connolly is being backed by its local authority Fingal County Council and has nearly 150 acres of land.