- 19 Oct 23
Labour TD, Alan Kelly, struggles to believe the new children's hospital in Dublin will be ready in October 2024.
Doubts have surfaced that the new national children’s hospital in Dublin could not possibly be finished before the deadline in October 2024.
Ongoing delays have been occurring since the hospital was first announced almost a decade ago.
The most recent estimate on the project is that building at the St James’s site would be completed by October 29, 2024.
Presumably, a commissioning programme would take another six months, meaning the doors could open to patients in April 2025.
A budget of €1.43 billion had been approved. This figure is now set to rise.
There is set to be a memo sent by Children’s Health Ireland to Government later this month regarding the final cost of the hospital.
The chief executive of the National Paediatric Hospital Development Board, David Gunning, stated that work on the hospital was 92% complete by the end of September 2023.
He assured that the board is in “constant engagement” with constructors BAM to “ensure that the October 2024 substantial completion is achieved”.
“All our efforts are focused on getting certainty on this date,” Gunning stated.
He broke down the costs, saying by September 30, 2023, the total amount spent was €1.36 billion, leaving €71 million from the overall budget of €1.43 billion.
Eilish Hardiman, chief executive of Children’s Health Ireland, said the operational commissioning phase is likely to take around six months.
Labour TD, Alan Kelly, asserted: “I don’t think there is a snowball’s chance of the October deadline being met next year,”
Kelly asked those giving evidence to contradict him if they did not believe the final cost of the project wouldn’t be “substantially over two billion euro” with no response.
He Continued:“I just don’t think that the handover positioning is going to be the stage that will allow this to happen so that we will not have this six months after that."
“I’d be even surprised if this is up and fully operational in 2025 at all based on the evidence that you have given us here."
“The fact is this project is going well north of over two billion euro, I would expect possibly even close to 2.5 billion euro. I don’t think anyone is disagreeing with that.”