TWO farmers have offered to donate parts of a 200-acre greenfield site as a possible location for the National Children's Hospital.
Brothers Frank and Fergus Connon offered a section of their land, located just off the M50 in north Co Dublin, in a submission to the Health Minister this week.
The men believe the site is the ideal location for the new children's hospital -- and are willing to give over the land for free.
In a submission to Health Minister James Reilly, they said the offer would speed up the construction of the hospital.
"A hospital on this site could be built in less than 36 months with planning approval. It will also be highly competitive to develop since work on a greenfield site is much simpler than complex works in a restricted site, working around a functioning hospital such as the Mater," they wrote.
The brothers cited the "space, accessibility and location" as factors which would make the site an ideal location for the hospital.
The site itself is opposite IKEA at Merryfalls/Sillogue between major motorways.
The brothers' submission said the site would have the space to facilitate all three existing children's hospital as well as a 25,000 square metre maternity hospital.
And the site would fit the requirement for 'co-location', as set out in the independent McKinsey report.
The men would maintain ownership of the land itself -- which would likely soar in value if the State accepted the offer.
It is claimed that the M50 site would provide easy access to patients and that the hospital could be constructed at a "fraction" of the initial projected cost.
In 2004, the same site was also approved as a potential location for Mountjoy Jail as part of a process which eventually favoured the Thornton Hall site.
The offer comes just a week after the original plans to construct the hospital at the Mater site were rejected by An Bord Pleanala because of its impact it would have on Dublin's skyline. Ministers will today discuss the next steps in constructing a new children's hospital at a Cabinet meeting.