Build hospital at St James's site, pleads mum of ill children
A Dublin mum with two sick children has said that both patients and staff deserve the planning application for the new National Children's Hospital to succeed.
Agnes Crawford has two children, Grace (6) and Robert (4), who suffer from Type 1 diabetes.
The family have been regular visitors to Temple Street Children's Hospital since Grace was diagnosed five years ago.
"Both the children who are patients and the staff who look after them really deserve a world-class facility," she told the Herald.
The planning application for the project to be built at the St James's Hospital site is to be lodged with An Bord Pleanala within days.
The application is already facing opposition from people who believe it should be located elsewhere and from some residents groups in the area.
Based in Castleknock, close to the mooted Blanchardstown site, Ms Crawford said that the St James's location was "fantastic".
"It would be easy for me to say a Blanchardstown hospital would be great as it's on our doorstep, but I can see the advantages of St James's," she said.
"It is so accessible in terms of public transport, but it is the parking that will be the big benefit for us.
"Taking your child to the A&E is stressful enough without having to find parking as is the case at the minute," she added.
"It makes sense to have all of the services under one roof so that your consultants aren't travelling between hospitals or patients."
Both of her children must visit Temple Street several time every year, on top of unscheduled visits as everyday illnesses can have adverse effects on their blood sugar levels.
"The staff in Temple Street have become more like a second family to us.
"They have been rooting for us from day one and they really have given us the confidence to look after our children," she said.
"I think that the staff and the services have simply outgrown the buildings they are in at the moment."
Ms Crawford said she was bowled over by the plans for the new facility, which will require the largest-ever State investment in health infrastructure.
"I can imagine walking in there and seeing it through a child's eyes, it would just be 'Wow' for them " she said.
"There are lots more distractions for them there, which will take their mind off the fact that they're in hospital - and that's a huge relief for parents too."
"It would be really unfortunate if the planning permission didn't go through.
"It's time now that we move on to bigger and better things," she added.