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Children's hospital still requires €110m in philanthropy

The National Children’s Hospital is will need €110m in charitable fundraising – and hasn’t gotten any of it yet.

Eilish Hardiman and chief architect Sean Mahon sit in front of a diorama of the new National Children's Hospital.
Eilish Hardiman and chief architect Sean Mahon sit in front of a diorama of the new National Children's Hospital.
Image: Julien Behal/PA Wire

THE NEW NATIONAL CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL will cost €650m to build – a sum that includes a requirement for €110m to be raised in philanthropic donations which has yet to be raised at all.

The news comes as the hospital’s development board said it had begun talks with An Bord Pleanála about securing permission to build the new hospital, which is to be based on the premises of the Mater Hospital on Dublin’s northside.

The project is being given €400m in funding from the exchequer, while a further €50m will come from the HSE’s capital plan. This money, however, will be spent on building a new centre in Tallaght to offer urgent care to children in the south-side of the city when the hospital relocates to the new premises.

Another €90m will be generated by selling the rights to retail units and private clinical facilities, as well as an underground car park. The remaining €110m, however, will have to be sought in donations – and none of this amount has been raised yet.

The board’s chief executive Eilish Hardiman has defended the lack of fundraising to date, saying it would have been inappropriate to start fundraising before the planning process had been finalised.

Once any remaining planning issues had been ironed out, she said, a campaign would be launched – which would include trying to solicit donations from the global diaspora.

“It is a highly specialised area,” she said, according to the Irish Independent. “We have three years and you do it first in a quiet way and then to the point where there is a pledge for the project.

“I think when it comes to philanthropy that it is very important that they see the plans and see the progress — it is linked to how the project is progressing.”

The Department of Finance told the Irish Times that it was up to each department to manage its own capital spending; a spokesperson for the Department of Health said that the €400m government funding for the project was included in the government’s capital spending plan published in July.

The hospital is due to be open by 2015.

About the author:

Gavan Reilly

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