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Who gets paid to work for a non-existent hospital?

Some staff have been employed by the new National Paediatric Hospital since 2008 – but the proposed building doesn’t even have planning permission yet.

Dublin's Mater Hospital: the site where the new children's hospital is proposed to be build
Dublin's Mater Hospital: the site where the new children's hospital is proposed to be build

HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of euro in wages have been paid to staff working for a new children’s hospital – even though it hasn’t been built yet.

The Irish Daily Mail has reported that taxpayers are already funding the salaries of a chief executive, a part-time medical director, a finance director and a business support team, despite the planning permission not have yet been granted – or sought – for the building.

The proposed site of the hospital is at Dublin’s Mater Hospital, and it is due to open for development in 2014.

Although salaries are already being paid, the board has refused to reveal size of the salaries it is awarding.

So who are the individuals being paid to work at a hospital that won’t actually open until at least 2014?

Eilish Hardiman

Eilish Hardiman was appointed chief executive of the National Paediatric Hospital Board in September 2008.

She is deputy chief executive of St James’s Hospital in Dublin, and previous to that she was Director of Nursing in St James’s.

Jim Farragher

Jim Farragher was appointed finance director of the National Paediatric Hospital.

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Dr Emma Curtis

Curtis was appointed to the role of medical director for the National Paediatric Hospital Board in 2008. Like Hardiman, she is on a 5 year contract.

She is also consultant paediatrician at the Adelaide and Meath Hospital in Tallaght  and divides her time between the two appointments.

The plans to build the National Paediatric Hospital Board were first announced in 2005, and three years later, the board of management was appointed. It operates from a building on Parnell Square and includes:

  • Michael Flaherty (a partner in KPMG)
  • Kathryn Raleigh, Director of ICT Ireland, IBEC
  • Harry Crosbie, businessman
  • Vera Wegner, appointed to represent the public interest
  • Linda Dillon, appointed to represent the interests of the parents of sick children
  • Norah Casey, CEO of Harmonia Ltd, which publishes Irish Tatler
  • John O’Brien, National Director of the National Hospitals Office, HSE
  • Brian Gilroy, National Director of Estates
  • Dr Alan Finan – Facility of Paediatrics (RCSI)
  • Philip Lynch – Chair
  • Dr Owen Hensey – Children’s University Hospital, Temple Street
  • Dr Emma Curtis

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