Future of children's hospital board

 

Sir, – A good start is half the battle. This cannot be said of the Government’s pledge to build the national children’s hospital on the site of St James’s Hospital. The project has been delayed for nearly a decade and €26 million of taxpayers’ money will never be recouped.

Minister for Health James Reilly has left 12 seats on the board to develop the national children’s hospital unfilled and he is now considering abolishing the board entirely (Home News, January 25th).

When announcing the location last November the Minister bemoaned the delay in providing a national children’s hospital and he promised it would be completed no later than 2018. This latest revelation sits uneasily with the Minister’s promise.

It is inexplicable that the body to oversee the development is not in place and it is hard not to conclude that the project is no longer the priority we were led to believe.

Since the announcement there was an opportunity to engage with and reassure local communities. There was an opportunity to win favour for the development by emphasising the financial benefit to the local economy, but the Minister did not have his ducks in a row. – Yours, etc,

MICHAEL MULLOOLY,

Ashdale Road, Dublin 6W.