Temple Street hospital will ‘revert’ to Sisters of Mercy

Move to take place after the transfer of staff to the new children’s hospital at St James’s

Minister for Health Simon Harris with Children’s Hospital Group chief executive Eilish Hardiman and project director John Pollock at St James’s. File photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

Minister for Health Simon Harris with Children’s Hospital Group chief executive Eilish Hardiman and project director John Pollock at St James’s. File photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

 

Temple Street Children’s University Hospital in Dublin is to be returned to the control of the Sisters of Mercy after the transfer of staff to the new national children’s hospital at St James’s Hospital, it has emerged.

The order would then be in a position to decide whether to dispose of the land and buildings at Temple Street, worth an estimated €92 million, though the consent of the Minister for Health would be required.

Meanwhile, ownership of Our Lady’s Hospital in Crumlin, which was founded by the Archbishop of Dublin in the 1950s and is chaired by the incumbent, Dr Diarmuid Martin, is likely to pass to the body running the new national children’s hospital. This means the proceeds from any sale can be used to fund children’s health.

Future uses for the facilities and sites of the existing hospitals have not yet been determined, a spokeswoman for the project team planning the new hospital told The Irish Times. However, Temple Street will “revert” to the Sisters of Mercy, she said.

In relation to Crumlin, legislation will facilitate the transfer of its assets, including the land and buildings, to the entity running the new hospital.” Crumlin hospital, the children’s hospital group and the HSE are exploring this, according to the spokeswoman.

Though State-funded, Temple Street is owned by Mater Misericordiae and the Children’s University Hospitals Ltd, a holding company controlled by the Sisters of Mercy. The congregation, the largest in the State, also owns Mercy University Hospital in Cork.

Tallaght Hospital

Tallaght Hospital, the third existing children’s hospital being subsumed into the new national hospital, is already owned by the State. The space currently occupied by children’s services on the site is likely to be used to treat adult patients after the move to St James’s.

The new children’s hospital at St James’s will be a secular institution with no religious involvement, Minister for Health Simon Harris emphasised yesterday. “This will be a secular hospital, underpinned by legislation, and a board appointed by the Minister of the day.”

Speaking as the general scheme of a Bill to create a single legal body to run the new hospital was published, Mr Harris promised the Government would prioritise its passage through the Oireachtas. The Bill provides for the merging of the three hospitals at Crumlin, Temple Street and Tallaght prior to the move to St James, now expected in 2022.

The board of the new hospital will have 12 members; four members will be nominated by the Minister, and eight by the board. Board members will be paid expenses but no fees.

The site for the €1.2 billion new hospital has been cleared at St James’s, and construction is expected to begin in October.

Legal action taken by nine residents of local houses, who alleged damage during site works, has been settled, according to the project team.