Supporters of child hospital at Mater to relaunch bid
BACKERS of a national children's hospital at the site of the Mater Hospital in north Dublin are to unveil a new strategy in the coming days, it was announced last night.
A consortium of representatives from the Mater, Temple Street and Rotunda hospitals, still believes the north Dublin site is the best location for the proposed new national children's hospital.
This is despite the board of Our Lady's Children's Hospital in Crumlin weighing in with a proposal to build the hospital on the campus of St James's Hospital in Dublin's south inner city.
Archbishop of Dublin Dr Diarmuid Martin, who chairs the board at Crumlin, rowed into the debate yesterday after a letter in which he endorsed the St James's site was published.
Dr Martin -- who is also the president of Temple Street Children's Hospital and sits on the Mater Hospital board -- wrote to St James's Hospital on April 17 offering his support for the building of a new maternity hospital on a 6.3-hectare site at St James's as part of the new national children's facility.
"We are convinced that the development of the national paediatric hospital on the St James's campus offers an exceptional opportunity to develop a world-class centre of integrated healthcare in Ireland," he wrote.
He added that as the largest children's hospital currently operating in Ireland, Crumlin must make "very clear its strongly-held view" to support St James's, adding that it "will not be formally supporting any other proposals".
But Donal Walsh, chairman of the Mater Misericordiae Children's University Hospitals, said the consortium will unveil "a detailed public information campaign very shortly to fully demonstrate how the Mater site remains the best location".
"The information campaign will outline the revised plans for a truly national, truly world class children's hospital," he said.
A review group led by Dr Frank Dolphin is currently studying the implications of a decision by An Bord Pleanala to deny planning permission to build the proposed €650m hospital at the Mater Hospital site.