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The Mater Hospital on Dublin's northside, the planned location for the new National Paediatric Hospital. Julien Behal/PA Archive
Children's Hospital

Mater site confirmed as location for National Children’s Hospital

Planning permission will be sought at the Mater site, but the government won’t decide if it will be built until September

MINISTER FOR HEALTH James Reilly has confirmed that the National Children’s Hospital is to be located at the Mater Hospital, after an independent review group yesterday named it as the ideal location for the facility.

In a statement this afternoon, Reilly confirmed he was accepting the advice of the independent panel, which he had commissioned in May, and that he had now authorised an application for planning permission for the hospital.

The report had compared the costs of building the hospital at a number of sites, and analysed the clinical benefits of each location, before naming the existing Mater site as its preferred location.

The cost of developing the facility at the Mater was similar to the price that would be incurred anywhere else, it found, while the clinical outcomes would be better at the Mater site.

“I am now fully satisfied that the Mater is the right location,” Reilly said. ”It is time for everyone to come together and deliver this children’s hospital in the shortest possible time.

“The creation of a world class tertiary hospital will need the commitment of everyone, including all those involved in the delivery of health services to children and in our wider society.”

A final decision on whether the hospital will actually be built will not be made until September, however, when the government reviews its overall capital spending programme.

This morning, junior finance minister Brian Hayes admitted to Morning Ireland that there was a “fair degree of scepticism” as to whether sufficient funding would actually be available for the hospital.

“If the capital is down and the amount you need from charitable sources goes up, how are you going to make those two situations come into balance?,” he asked.

Around a fifth of the total cost of the hospital is expected to come from charitable and philanthropic sources.

In the meantime, the minister called on the three children’s hospitals in Dublin to continue working together and to proceed with talks on merging their administrations ahead of the opening of the new hospital.

Previously: Board of proposed National Children’s Hospital ‘cannot handle project’ says ex-chair >

Previously: Location for children’s hospital “a political decision” >

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