Judge hopes children's hospital building works legal row can be resolved

Goodwill between parties noted along with hope expensive proceedings can be avoided

A file photograph of the site of the national children’s hospital at the St James’s Hospital campus in Dublin. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

A file photograph of the site of the national children’s hospital at the St James’s Hospital campus in Dublin. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

 

A High Court judge has said she hopes a row about building works between the new National Children’s Hospital in Dublin and local residents can be resolved. Ms Justice Leonie Reynolds noted on Friday there was goodwill between the parties. She was told the parties had agreed a timetable for the resumption of the residents’ original challenge to the building works on the €1 billion hospital on the grounds of St James’s Hospital, which they say is damaging their homes.

They claim experts have found movement in their homes due to the works. The judge had been due on Friday to hear an application by lawyers for residents from the O’Reilly Avenue, Ceannt Fort and Mount Brown areas of Dublin, to resume proceedings against the National Paediatric Hospital Development Board and the builders, BAM Civil Ltd.

The residents took legal action in 2017 but following negotiations the proceedings were resolved on undisclosed terms.

Last Wednesday, they sought permission to serve short notice of renewed proceedings and the case was adjourned to Friday when John Rogers SC, for the residents, said it had been agreed the defendants would file affidavits in 10 days and the case could be adjourned for two weeks.

Jarlath Fitzsimons SC, for the development board, and Shane Murphy SC, for BAM, agreed with the timetable.

Mr Fitzsimons said it was hoped the sides could work together to identify the issues involved and there had also been a suggestion the matter could go to mediation. Ms Justice Reynolds agreed to adjourn for two weeks and said “clearly there is goodwill and hopefully issues can be resolved without lengthy and expensive court proceedings”.