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Tuesday 27 September 2016

Leo returns to old stomping ground as Connolly Hospital parties for 60th birthday

Anniversary

Tanaiste and Minister for Social Protection, Joan Burton, Minister for Health, Leo Varadkar, and Hospital Manager Mairead Lyons. Photo: Tommy Clancy
Tanaiste and Minister for Social Protection, Joan Burton, Minister for Health, Leo Varadkar, and Hospital Manager Mairead Lyons. Photo: Tommy Clancy
At an event to celebrate Connolly Hospital Balnchardstown's 60th Anniversary were, Tanaiste and Minister for Social Protection, Joan Burton T. D. and local Angela Connell. Photo: Tommy Clancy
At an event to celebrate Connolly Hospital Balnchardstown's 60th Anniversary were, Tanaiste and Minister for Social Protection, Joan Burton T. D., Minister for Health, Leo Varadkar, T. D. and children from Scoil Bhride, Blanchardstown who performed at the event. Photo: Tommy Clancy

Connolly Hospital has seen many staff pass through its doors - not least Health Minister Leo Vardakar and football legend Paul McGrath.

The hospital celebrated it's 60th birthday yesterday and Mr Varadkar was on hand to share his fond memories.

"I left Connolly, and the world of medicine for a career in politics, but some people who worked here left for even greater things," he recalled.

"In Paul McGrath's autobiography, he writes with pride about the job he had providing security here in the early 1980s when he was just starting out as a footballer.

players

"He worked for CP Security at the time and on one occasion they needed a few players to take on Maynooth. Paul was asked to play even though no one knew if he was any good.

"They won five- or six-nil, and Paul scored four goals. And so a legend was born," he said.

Tanaiste Joan Burton said at the event that there is an examination at the moment of the relocation of the Rotunda services to the hospital.

"I think that would be a very good development for mothers and babies and the wider Dublin region, and indeed for the whole population of the North East," she said.

Mr Varadkar told the Herald that a decision will be made in the next few weeks on where the Rotunda and the Coombe will go.

Relocation

"That decision won't be made based on local political considerations. It will be made entirely on the merits, and I don't have a recommendation as yet."

The planning application for a three-storey children's unit at the hospital will be lodged with An Bord Pleanala within the next three months, which will include an emergency department, he said.

Meanwhile, Mick Roban who works at the hospital said he would love to hear memories from former patients and staff. He is collecting the history for a stage show which will be performed in aid of charity. He can be contacted at michael.roban@hse.ie

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