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Julien Behal/PA Wire
Children's Hospital

Developer said relocating children's hospital could save €150m

Noel Smyth said he was to meet with Philip Lynch – who quit as the chair of the hospital’s board last week – over relocating.

A PROPERTY DEVELOPER who says he wants to build the new National Children’s Hospital on a non-profit basis has said he was due to meet with the former chairman of its board to discuss an alternative location that would have cost €50m less to build on.

Smyth led a consortium in 2006 which had offered to donate a site near Newlands Cross in Dublin in 2006, and build the hospital on the site for cost price. The option was turned down, however, in favour of locating the new facility on the site of the Mater Hospital in the north inner city.

Smyth yesterday said he had recently gotten back in touch with the board, in light of the economic downturn since the decision on the hospital’s new location was made, to discuss whether the alternative plan could still go ahead.

Smyth said Lynch – the chairman of the new hospital’s board until his resignation last week – had written to him when he himself had written, to the Irish Times, outlining how he still believed the project could be built elsewhere for €500m.

He was waiting for a green light on whether he could make a presentation to the board outlining alternative locations before Lynch resigned last week.

Though it is not known why Lynch quit, the Irish Times reports he was concerned over the funding of the site – which was yesterday shown to be still reliant on €110m in philanthropy, the entirety of which remains unraised – and had wanted to examine other locations.

He resigned, it suggests, when health minister Mary Harney refused to consider looking at alternative sites for locating the new hospital, which will replace the current National Children’s Hospital in Tallaght.

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