The Government must move as a matter of urgency to publish the Dolphin Report and progress the building of a new National Children’s Hospital, Fianna Fáil’s Health Spokesperson Billy Kelleher has said.

Deputy Kelleher said: “It is almost three months since this group was asked to examine the decision by An Bord Pleanála to refuse planning permission for the new national children’s hospital on the site of the Mater Hospital.  The children of Ireland urgently need the state-of-the-art facilities and specialised care this hospital will provide.  Every week and month that a decision is not made by the government on this issue only pushes this project further and further away.

“It is almost one year since the Government’s decided to endorse the Mater Hospital site for the location of a new National Children’s Hospital after Minister Reilly commissioned a review of the location upon taking up office.

“The report from the Dolphin group should be published as soon as possible so work can progress on this essential project.  Everyone in the country wants a state-of-the-art new children’s hospital so it is time action was taken.  There is also growing concern about hospital the current children’s hospitals will continue to be funded and meet the needs of the sick children of Ireland while the new hospital is being built.

“I am urging Minister Reilly and the government to bring clarity to this issue as soon as possible.  Parents across the country want to see this project go ahead and built as a matter of urgency and to the highest standards.  We cannot afford for it to be dragged out indefinitely.”