Casey backs Mater site for hospital


Businesswoman and member of the board charged with developing the new national children’s hospital, Norah Casey, has backed the Mater hospital as the best location for the new facility.

Speaking at the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) conference in Killarney, Ms Casey said she thought the Mater site was the better option.

She said she was "worried about the constant delays" to the project and was concerned that if a new location for the hospital were chosen, “it would take at least another year”.

The Dragon’s Den panellist said her preference was to go with the Mater as the site for the new hospital.

In February, An Bord Pleanála rejected the original plans for the $650 million development at the Mater site in Dublin’s north inner city, saying its height, bulk, scale and mass “would have a profound negative impact on the appearance and visual amenity of the city skyline” and “constitute over-development of the site”.

Last week, senior figures at the Mater, Temple Street and the Rotunda hospitals gave details of a revised design for the Mater site which would see the development occupy a wider footprint and be lower than on the original blueprint.

They said the hospital can be built faster and cheaper on the site of the Mater hospital in Dublin than in any other location.

Under the new design the top six storeys have been removed from the original plan for the Mater site. While the core design remained intact, no part of the development would now exceed 11 storeys..

To compensate for the loss of the higher storeys, additional space would be provided through the use of the 1861 Mater hospital building on the campus.