Beacon Hospital signals further expansion with acquisition of two adjacent sites

Denis O’Brien-controlled private hospital plans to expand clinical facilities and create a new medical research hub

The Beacon Hospital has acquired two sites adjacent to its current campus in Sandyford, Co Dublin, for an undisclosed sum.

It plans to use the sites on 56 and 57 Blackthorn Road, comprising 2.7 acres, to expand the hospital’s clinical facilities; create a new medical research hub; and house part of its existing UCD Beacon Academy.

The cost of developing the sites could run to hundreds of millions of euro.

The Denis O’Brien-controlled private hospital recently purchased the adjoining Beacon Hotel site, where it is planning a €75 million, eight-storey extension with new emergency department facilities, cancer care provision and associated inpatient treatment rooms.


The plan, which will increase bed capacity in the hospital by 40 per cent and consolidate Beacon Hospital’s position as the largest private hospital in Dublin, is on hold, however, because of an appeal against the planning decision lodged with An Bord Pleanála.

The proposed redevelopment of the hotel site represents the largest single investment in the hospital since Mr O’Brien took control of the business in 2014.

The hospital said it has invested more than €100 million over the past five years, including the acquisition of the hotel and the two new adjoining sites.

It said the expansion would be informed by consultations with staff as well as healthcare trends and demographic changes.

“At Beacon Hospital our ambition is to continually grow and evolve our modern medical campus – enabling us to expand the range of clinical services available to our patients to meet current and future healthcare needs and to provide our consultants and staff with state-of-the-art healthcare facilities,” Beacon Hospital chief executive Michael Cullen said.

“The additional space this new land will provide allows us to plan to not only enhance the services available to patients but it will also enable us to build on our legacy of world-class clinical training through an expansion of the UCD Beacon Academy and to further invest in clinical trials through a dedicated Beacon Hospital Research and Development Centre,” he said.

Since 2015, more than 2,100 medical students have received training at the UCD Beacon Academy while there are more than 30 active research projects taking place on the Beacon campus.

The hospital, which has about 1,100 staff, recorded a 7 per cent increase in revenue in 2020, according to its most recent published results, but slipped into the red due to higher costs associated with the impact of Covid-19.

Eoin Burke-Kennedy

Eoin Burke-Kennedy

Eoin Burke-Kennedy is Economics Correspondent of The Irish Times