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Dublin: 14 °C Monday 3 August, 2020

Cabinet to make decision on location of National Children's Hospital

The government is expected to announce its choice of a site for the long-awaited National Children’s Hospital later today.

James Reilly will make his recommendation to Cabinet today.
James Reilly will make his recommendation to Cabinet today.
Image: Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland

THE CABINET IS expected to make a decision on the location for the long-awaited National Children’s Hospital when it meets later this morning.

Indications are that government ministers will settle on a site in and around St James’s Hospital in Dublin which will be linked to the Coombe Women’s Hospital in the south inner city.

The recommendation for this site will come from Health Minister James Reilly who has spent the last five months considering the contents of the Dolphin report which assessed possible locations for the much-delayed hospital.

The review group chaired by Frank Dolphin was set up after a site at the Mater Hospital was rejected by An Bord Pleanála earlier this year.

It now appears likely that the government’s self-imposed deadline of 2016 to build the hospital cannot be met with the Mater hospital claiming that construction on a new site could delay the process by a further two-and-a-half-years.

The site near the Coombe Maternity Hospital in south Dublin that is earmarked for the National Children’s Hospital (Pic: Google Street View)

The Dolphin report has indicated that building the hospital on an urban site, as would be the case with the choice of site near the Coombe, will take at least three-and-a-half-years.

A fresh planning application will have to be submitted for whatever site is chosen and the government is expected to outline a timeline as well as the overall cost and funding of the project once its decision is made.

It will be the largest capital spending project undertaken by this government.

Explainer: Cabinet to decide on children’s hospital, but what are the options?

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Hugh O'Connell

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