Digging at the new children’s hospital


A chara, – “If you find yourself in a hole, stop digging”, is the sagacious maxim and with a literal application in this case. Unfortunately, key decision makers in Government and Opposition (opportunist resignation motions notwithstanding) appear oblivious to the righteous build-up of anger at their nonchalant response to the projected and certain colossal overspend of vast amounts of public monies at the planned location.

This is evidenced by a determination to plough ahead at all costs, at the already congested St James’s site with its tightly circumscribed access routes and a plethora of other intrinsic cost pressure issues.

Vested interests may exist wherever the hospital is built but surely the criteria must be the needs of sick children and these are not irreconcilable with the requirements of the common good and common sense.

The St James’s site meets neither. There are other options and it would be bordering on criminal folly not to review all feasible evidenced-based alternatives.

Considering the many pressing needs in our society, throwing good money after bad and on the projected scale envisaged here will not be forgotten or forgiven by citizens whose collective direct and indirect taxes are meant to fund essential public services on the basis of the best value possible. – Is mise,



Dublin 6.

Sir, – Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, in defending the decision to locate the new children’s hospital at the St James’ site, acknowledges that it would have been “quicker and cheaper to build it on a greenfield site” but that “it would not have been better”.

This might have been the case back in 2016 when the costs of €637 million were projected. However, with the current estimates projected at three times or more that number, we might be building one “better” hospital, at the expense of two or more perfectly good hospitals. Surely at the very least we need to pause and re-evaluate the decision?

To paraphrase another prime minster in denial recently, let us not let the search for the better become the enemy of the good. – Yours, etc,


Tralee, Co Kerry.