Friday 28 October 2016

Charity boss Jonathan Irwin: I'll spend €100k to fight St James's scheme

Jonathan Irwin
Jonathan Irwin

CHARITY boss Jonathan Irwin is set to mount a €100k campaign to oppose the planning application for the new National Children's Hospital.

The Jack & Jill founder has opposed plans to co-locate the hospital at St James's, as he believes Blanchardstown would be a better place to build the hospital.

Now he is waiting for a final estimation of how much it will cost to have planning experts fight his case with An Bord Pleanala.

He told the Herald that the total bill could run between €60k and €100k - money which he will raise separately from his fundraising efforts for Jack & Jill.

"The plans are all more of the same, there is nothing in them that could persuade me as to why anyone should choose James's," he said. He concedes that "he may not win" his case, but said he could not sit by and do nothing.

Meanwhile, the New Children's Hospital Alliance is also planning to object.


Dr Roisin Healy, of that group, said there was no clinical evidence backing up the decision to locate the hospital at St James's.

"Children have not featured in this decision. We are looking for families around the country to make submissions also," she said.

Similarly, the Tallaght Hospital Action Group are planning to object on the grounds that the hospital site is too small and the fact that the satellite centres do not have full-time emergency departments.

Some local residents also plan to object to the building of the hospital in the area because of concerns over traffic congestion and noise.

"We know we're facing a nightmare. It absolutely can't go ahead," O'Reilly Avenue resident Brenda Meehan said. "Nobody has mentioned the impact the construction noise will have on patients in St James's either," she added.

Locals are concerned about traffic, the major excavation needed, and the height of the building behind their houses.

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