Swords primary care site not owned by Reilly

Sat, Sep 22, 2012, 01:00

THE HSE is in advanced negotiations with developers in Swords to lease premises for a primary care centre in the town, the local TD, Minister for Health James Reilly, has said.

Dr Reilly owns land nearby which was once mooted as the location for the primary centre but he said yesterday that the site now proposed was not one he owns.

Justifying his decision to add Swords and another location in his constituency, Balbriggan, to the list, he said that Swords had no primary care centre and no link by public transport to Beaumont Hospital. Balbriggan was hugely deprived, he added.

Swords ranked 130th out of 200 in a list of priority locations for primary care centres drawn up by the HSE, documents published by The Irish Times yesterday show.

The HSE has sought to get a primary care centre up and running in Swords since 2007.

Two years later, a partnership comprising Dr Reilly and two other GPs was chosen as the preferred provider of a centre on its land at Airside Retail Park. Planning permission was obtained for a four-storey over basement medical clinic, to accommodate GP practices, diagnostic facilities, physiotherapy suites and dental facilities. The agreement was not completed after one of the parties withdrew, according to the HSE.

The Minister’s spokesman said Dr Reilly told his solicitor before the last election he didn’t want to progress his interest in the site anymore. The 1.3 acre site was put up for sale but has failed to sell. It remains on the market.

Last week, an international architectural design firm, PM Group, filed High Court papers seeking to recover fees it alleges have not been paid by the Airside partnership. No date has been set for a court hearing. Dr Reilly’s spokesman said he denied any liability and would vigorously contest the claim if it came to court.