Swords site linked to Reilly offered to HSE
SALE OFFER:THE HEALTH Service Executive has been approached by agents selling a site part-owned by Minister for Health James Reilly in Swords for possible use as a primary care centre.
However, no formal submission has been made by the agents. The HSE is reviewing three submissions from developers to build the controversial centre in other locations in the town.
A site beside the Castle shopping centre in the centre of Swords village is regarded as the front-runner to win the contract, according to informed sources.
Dr Reilly has no involvement in the consortium that bought the land at Airside Retail Park in 2007, having decided to divest himself of his business interests before the general election and his appointment as Minister. His solicitor has engaged a third party to handle his interests.
However, Dr Reilly and his two partners have been unable to sell the site. The Airside Partnership is believed to have paid €5 million for the 1.34-acre site currently valued at less than €750,000.
The property, which has planning permission for a four-storey medical clinic building, is on the market as a “ready-to-go medical development opportunity” with agents GVA Donal Ó Buachalla.
A HSE source said any submission in relation to Dr Reilly’s land would be considered, though it was likely the original proposed development would be reduced.
Dr Reilly’s two partners in the Airside consortium are two GPs in Swords, Dr Stan Natin and Dr David Reilly (no relation), but they are not involved in any of the three submissions received by the HSE.
A HSE spokeswoman said last night that a primary care centre was being developed in Swords by way of leasing arrangement, with the developer responsible for securing GP involvement.
Dr Reilly’s inclusion of Swords and Balbriggan in a list of 35 locations for the development of primary care centres by public-private partnership has been the subject of controversy since it emerged last month he added the locations against the recommendation of former minister of State Róisín Shortall.
In spite of their appearance on the list, it now seems centres will be delivered in the two north Dublin towns by leasing arrangement rather than PPP.
The HSE spokeswoman confirmed that the preferred provider of the centre in Balbriggan, Rhonellen Ltd, was selected in September 2011, after the Government came into office. This followed the collapse of agreements for an earlier proposal at a different site in the town. The agreement with Rhonellen is subject to the lodging of planning application by the end of this month.
Meanwhile, the HSE has confirmed that, separate to Dr Reilly’s list of 35 centres to be developed by PPP, eight have been included on the Department of Health’s capital plan, which was approved this week. A spokesman said more projects would be added to the capital plan in the event of funds being made available to build the new national children’s hospital from the sale of the National Lottery. This would release up to €175 million from the health budget for spending on primary care centres.