Dublin Fingal Senator Darragh O’Brien has called on the HSE to do more to ensure that disruption caused during the construction of the National Forensics Mental Health Services Hospital is minimised. The Fianna Fáil Senator raised the matter in the Seanad yesterday with Minister Lynch who has responsibility for the project. Senator O’Brien also called on the HSE to improve its community gain proposals.
Senator O’Brien commented, “The vast majority of residents in the Donabate and Portrane area support the construction of the National Forensics Mental Health Services Hospital. The people of Donabate and Portrane have a proud tradition of caring for those with mental and physical disabilities. However I have been working with my colleague Cllr Adrian Henchy on the ground and it is clear that people have significant concerns surrounding the possibility of local traffic disruption during the two years of construction.
“To date the proposals outlined by the HSE to minimise traffic disruption leave a lot to be desired. Currently there is only one access point identified for the construction site. This is simply insufficient for a project of this size considering there will be thousands of vehicle trips over the course of the construction. If as proposed there is only one access road this raises serious safety concerns coupled with the potential for major traffic disruption. The local residents, Cllr Henchy and I have requested that at a minimum a separate construction / haul road must be put in place during construction to help solve this problem.
“The HSE’s proposals for community gain are also woefully insufficient. A project of this magnitude should include a specific allocated budget of between 4% and 5% to support community development. Cllr Henchy and I have called for the HSE to go further in assisting senior citizens, sports clubs and other community facilities in the area. The construction of the hospital is set to cause disruption over the course of two years and it is only fair that local organisations receive funding to limit the impact of this.
“I was glad that Minister Lynch took on board my concerns and committed to address them. I look forward to continue working with Cllr Henchy and the rest of my colleagues to ensure that the interruption caused by the construction of the new hospital is minimised and that the local community gets a fair deal from the HSE” said Senator O’Brien.