Plan for a new children's hospital
Sir, – Oh that the Taoiseach would pick up the phone and invite experienced hospital developer Dr James Sheehan around to his office to discuss, and hopefully accept, his generous offer and plan, with the nine principles, to deliver the new children’s hospital on time (two years) and on budget.
Taoisigh are not normally expected to be entrepreneurial, but in this case he would have the admiration of the nation if he directed all concerned to hand over the project in its entirety to his new appointed children’s hospital supremo.
Dr Sheehan also has a proven record in hospital site location and this should form part of his remit. An Bord Pleanála should be requested to work with Dr Sheehan’s team so that planning permission is axiomatic when the project is ready to proceed.
As for the funding, the Taoiseach and the nation are fortunate to have Harry Crosbie as the enthusiastic chairman of the new hospital’s development board and deserves all our support. He talks of a worldwide fund-raising drive and expects generous contributions from philanthropic and charitable sources. I am quite sure the entertainment industry will come up trumps, for let’s not forget: it’s all about the lives of sick little children.
Notwithstanding Mr Crosbie’s efforts, the main funding will come from government and the Taoiseach must give Dr Sheehan an irrevocable commitment that funds will be there to meet the outgoings as they fall due, otherwise it will be impossible for him to proceed. Of course his budget will be agreed in advance, but why should it differ much from the sum already allocated for the Mater site development. – Yours, etc,