Work on the roof garden of the new National Children's Hospital Lauren Boland/The Journal
rising costs

Taoiseach refuses to estimate final cost of National Children's Hospital

The current estimated cost of the NCH is €1.4 billion.

TAOISEACH MICHEÁL MARTIN has declined to estimate the cost of the National Children’s Hospital amid reports of a sharp rise in the cost of the facility.

Speaking during Leaders’ Questions this morning, Martin was responding to questioning by Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald, who questioned him about the costs of the hospital.

When asked if he would give an estimate of the final cost, Martin declined, saying to do so would be a “mistake”.

“That would be a mistake because if you’re interested in costs, you don’t announce to the contractor the level at which you want to go to,” Martin said.

“That is the wrong approach to take,” adding that speculating on prices would disadvantage the taxpayer.

Questioning by McDonald comes on the back of a report from The Irish Times, which details a sharp rise in the cost of the new National Children’s Hospital, which is scheduled to open in late 2024.

Currently, the hospital is expected to cost over €1.4 billion, according to the Chief Officer of the National Paediatric Hospital Development Board (NPGDB), David Gunning.

Earlier this month, the Taoiseach toured the hospital and was told that the facility is “80% complete”.

Martin accepted that there were issues that would increase the cost of the project, including the war in Ukraine and the rising cost of building materials.

McDonald said that the rising costs could push the project over €2 billion and criticised the Government for an “open ended” contract with the hospital’s developer.

Martin defended his refusal to estimate the final cost of the project, saying that it would play to the contractor.

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