Children’s hospital: the next stage


Sir, – Minister for Health Simon Harris now has an opportunity to abandon the madness of locating the children’s hospital at St James’s Hospital and re-position it either at Connolly Hospital, Blanchardstown, or a greenfield site beside the M50.

If he requires proof that the current site is completely disastrous by reason of traffic congestion he should emulate an anxious parent arriving by car at Newlands Cross at 9am and driving to St James’s Hospital.

That experience will leave him in no doubt that the excavations already carried out should be used as a much-needed car park at St James’s, while re-tendering for a children’s hospital on an accessible site is progressed with all haste.

The current situation is most certainly a case where the Government should stop digging a hole which could well become its grave. – Yours, etc,



Co Kildare.

Sir, – The recognised stages of any major construction project are: enthusiasm, disillusionment, panic, search for the guilty, punishment of the innocent, the posturing of politicians, and praise and honours all around by the non-participants on completion.

The forthcoming PwC report on the national children’s hospital may point to the guilty and those to be exonerated. However, this can only be done if the report can identify the projected cashflows for the project, the risk factors involved (as identified by the project’s discount rate) and the rate of return required by the contractors. This will provide the facts and figures rather than opinions and ideas. – Yours, etc,


College of Engineering and Built Environment,

Technological University, Dublin.

Sir, – Stephen Kilane’s sensible comparisons relating to the cost of the new children’s hospital (February 19th) should have been pointed out by a good journalist by now.

Let the project progress, guided by those who know what they are doing without political interference in future.

Paul Cullen (Front page, February 19th) alerts us that the HSE report of last year discovered that overrun would have happened regardless of who got the contract. – Yours, etc,


Dublin 3.

Sir, – Tom Costello, then chairman (since resigned) of the children’s hospital board, referred to commercially sensitive discussion and asked all parties present, at a meeting, to sign a confidentiality agreement. This was to ensure that no issues, pertaining to Bam and the budget, would be discussed “ outside of the people that need to know” (Home News, February 19th).

Surely the taxpayers of Ireland needed to know? – Yours, etc,


Blessington, Co. Wicklow.