Mayor's cash fears over new children's hospital
THE new national children's hospital planned for a site next to the Mater could become Ireland's first "ghost hospital", it has been claimed. Mayor of South Dublin Cllr Eamonn Maloney (Lab) has warned that the new hospital might never become operational amid fears that the money will not be there to run it.
Mayor of South Dublin Cllr Eamonn Maloney (Lab) has warned that the new hospital might never become operational amid fears that the money will not be there to run it.
He made the claim as South Dublin County Council made a fresh call on Health Minister Mary Harney to halt plans to close the children's hospital in Tallaght.
The proposal is to amalgamate the services currently in Tallaght, Our Lady's Hospital Crumlin and Temple Street into a purpose-built new development on the Mater campus.
Cllr Maloney said given the economic crisis, the money was not there to start and finish the project.
"The department has already utilised €22m of public money and there is not even a block in the ground," he said.
"The question is whether it will be operational or whether we will have the first ghost hospital in the country because that is I think where it is headed".
The Mayor's motion urging the reversal of the plan received widespread support at South Dublin County Council's monthly meeting.
Cllr Marie Corr (Lab) said it was "absolutely insane" to be relocating services away from Tallaght Hospital to a city centre area with "hardly any children".
"Parents of children who are chronically ill will now have to travel into the city centre," she said. "With such a young population here, it's a ridiculous decision and it has to be stopped."
She said both Tallaght and Crumlin were excellent hospitals, but were starved of resources.