PR firm got further €372,132 in fees for children’s hospital last year

Q4PR was one of over 50 third parties to share in payments totalling €213.88m

The construction site of the National Children’s Hospital. Photograph: Tom Honan

The construction site of the National Children’s Hospital. Photograph: Tom Honan

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The public relations firm working for the agency constructing the €1.7 billion National Children’s Hospital (NCH) was paid a further €372,132 in fees, including 23 per cent VAT on the project last year.

New figures provided in response to a Freedom of Information request show that Q4PR was one of more than 50 third parties to share in payments totalling €213.88 million for 2019 from the National Paediatric Hospital Development Board.

The bulk of the money paid out by the board last year was to the main contractor for the project, BAM Building Ltd, which received €168 million.

The board confirmed that the total spend on the project at the end of 2019 was €469.43 million.

The detailed breakdown for last year shows Q4PR was paid €372,132 under the heading of “community engagement and communication services”.

The 2019 payout follows payments totalling €1 million to the company over the preceding four years concerning the project: in 2018, the company received fees of €248,050 and this followed payments of €276,467 in 2017, €274,567 in 2016 and €204,509 in 2015.

The company secured the PR contract in 2015 and it is due to continue until March 2021.

The figures for 2019 show that the architects of the NCH project, BDP, were paid €6.48 million in design-team fees.

Planning fees

The FOI response also discloses that Dublin City Council was paid €3.73 million in planning fees and expenses. Linesight was paid €6.25 million for construction management services and quantity surveying work on the project.

Other third parties to receive in excess of €2 million for work on the children’s hospital last year include Arup which received €2.98 million for mechanical and electrical design-team fees.

ESB Networks received €2.9 million for providing the electrical connection to the project while O’Connor Sutton Cronin received €2.85 million for civil and structural design team fees in 2019.

Other payments include €556,061 to McCann Fitzgerald for legal services in 2019 and €776,773 to Blackrock Expert Services for project controls and claims management services.

Work only resumed last week on the project after the close down of the site due to Covid-19.