Fianna Fáil Health Spokesperson Stephen Donnelly has called on the Government to explain the extraordinary escalation in the costs associated with building the new Children’s Hospital. Deputy Donnelly was commenting following reports that the cost of the project may now reach €1.4 billion.

Deputy Donnelly explained, “It’s just over eighteen months since the Minister told us that he expected the cost of the Hospital to be approximately €1 billion and perhaps more importantly, that it would be delivered on time. We now know that neither will happen.”

“In 2012 the new Children’s Hospital was projected to cost €404 million. That quickly jumped to €485 million and in 2015 when an application for planning permission was lodged, it had increased to €650 million.

“These escalations are simply extraordinary and need to be explained. A forty percent increase in costs since spring 2017 cannot be brushed aside; we need to know that the taxpayers and ultimately the service users are getting the best value for their money. I will be raising this as a matter of priority in the Dáil next week.

“We also need to hear why delivery dates on key projects are not being met. It’s not just the St. James’s site which has been delayed. The Minister has said, on the Dáil record, that satellite centres at Connolly Hospital would be open at the end of 2018 and Tallaght at the beginning of 2019. Neither of these projects are on schedule either. Connolly Hospital is set to open next year with Tallaght to follow in 2020. Yet again we see a key infrastructure project behind schedule and over budget,” concluded Donnelly.