Racecourse children's hospital site 'cheaper'


A NATIONAL children’s hospital at the Phoenix Park racecourse would be €210 million cheaper than the plan for the Mater site, developers have said.

Property development company Flynn and O’Flaherty has offered eight acres at the racecourse in Dublin to the State for the planned national children’s hospital.

Earlier this year, planning permission for the hospital at the Mater site in Dublin city centre was rejected by An Bord Pleanála on the basis that it was an overdevelopment.

Minister for Health Dr James Reilly subsequently set up a review group headed by Dr Frank Dolphin to examine how the project could be progressed. Some 15 locations in the greater Dublin area have since been put forward as potential homes for the hospital.

Proposals include sites near St James’s hospital and the Coombe, a greenfield site near Dublin airport and one near the Red Cow roundabout, as well as a revised development at the Mater hospital.

Denis Doherty, spokesman for Flynn and O’Flaherty, said yesterday that building the hospital at the racecourse would cost €440 million “as opposed to the figure of €650 million for the proposed but rejected Mater hospital development”.

One of the advantages of the site was that it was zoned for development and there was previous planning permission for a nine-storey development, he said. It could be delivered by 2016. There would also be ample space for car parking, and current infrastructure included a train station.