Site for national children's hospital


Madam, – I am a Mater-trained doctor, currently practising as an orthopaedic surgeon in Waterford Regional and Kilcreene Orthopaedic hospitals. As a trainee, I made many trips to Eccles Street, negotiating the traffic and parking problems. As a consultant surgeon, I frequently refer children to Dublin for specialised paediatric care. For parents, the thought of the impending trip to Dublin, compounds the anxiety already felt regarding their sick child. I am also the father of a 10-year-old girl, diagnosed with cancer three years ago. Hence, I have made many trips to Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin, to witness firsthand what it is like to sit “on the other side of the fence”, so to speak.

My overwhelming concern regarding the location of the proposed hospital relates to access for patients and parents. How could one possibly be expected to use public transport with one’s weak, nauseated child?

In fact, avoidance of the public is recommended in light of the infection risk for the immuno-suppressed child on treatment. Parents, therefore, will be forced to negotiate their way through the traffic of Dublin, trying to find this city-centre site. I can only image the distress and anxiety that will be inflicted unnecessarily on patients and parents.

I think it is an absolute disgrace that the Mater site is even being considered as the location of the proposed hospital. Doctors and parents need to insist that our elected politicians reverse this decision immediately. – Yours, etc,


Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon,

Waterford Regional Hospital

Kilcreene Orthopaedic Hospital,


Madam, – In his letter regarding the suitability of the Mater site for the new children’s hospital, Barry O’Donnell (August 17th) stresses the importance of the availability of hotel accommodation adjacent to the hospital. He goes on to state that the nearest hotel to the Mater is the Gresham Hotel in O’Connell Street which is a mile away. In this assertion he is quite wrong.

There are at least 11 hotels that are nearer to the Mater than the Gresham: these include the Belvedere, Barry’s, Cassidy’s, Maldron (formerly Comfort Inn) and Walton’s. So with a least 12 hotels within a mile of the site, the Mater must surely come out top on this criterion. – Yours, etc,


Ard na Mara,


Co Dublin.