Our child hospitals deserve far better
Temple Street Children's Hospital in Dublin is crumbling, a fire hazard and an infection risk.
Ceilings leak, tiles fall off walls. The Department of Health has told the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform that the building is unfit for purpose.
In Crumlin, Our Lady's Hospital for Sick Children was the subject of a development control plan seven years ago. "With notable exceptions", not much has improved since then. One has to wonder whether urgently needed renovations in both places were postponed or forgotten about while the controversy raged over the location of the new children's hospital, which will incorporate both institutions.
But that is not an adequate excuse. Indeed, there can be no adequate excuse for allowing two hospitals of enormous importance to fall into such disrepair.
The controversy is over now.
The new facility will be built on the site of the Mater Hospital. Very large numbers of people are dissatisfied with this decision and doubtful about the reasons for it. But at a minimum, we will have a glittering new hospital.
The question remains, and should be investigated: How could Temple Street in particular have been permitted to fall into a state of virtual decay?
The process began before the Celtic Tiger boom ended and government revenue collapsed.
For years, public money had been spent lavishly, often uselessly.
It is sad to think of the low priority allocated to the health of the nation's children.