It will cost the state a minimum of 50 million euros to forcibly acquire the land at St Vincent’s Hospital for the new national maternity hospital, the Irish Independent has learned.
this would push the final expected bill for the high-tech building to at least 850 million euros and probably much closer to the 1 billion euros mark.
Sources have said Donnybrook’s 29 acres are worth at least 50 to 60 million euros. The nearby RTÉ land in Donnybrook, which had a different zoning, sold for 107 million euros for just 8.5 acres, less than a third the size.
An expert told Independent Irish: “I don’t know what the terms of a CPO (Mandatory Purchase Order) would be, but if this land were available for housing, it would cost almost the highest price per acre in the country. “
Mary Lou McDonald brought up the “ghost” of National Children’s Hospital overspending at the St James’ Hospital site when she interviewed the Taoiseach in the Dáil yesterday.
Project costs for the new national maternity hospital had “skyrocketed”, she said, increasing by 500 million euros to a new estimate of 800 million euros. So there were concerns that it could easily exceed € 1 billion on completion, she said.
The Taoiseach said there was no point in circulating such large numbers when tenders were underway for the new NMH. He also warned that following the CPO’s path “could undermine the prospect of one day building the hospital.”
Meanwhile, the former master of the Holles Street National Maternity Hospital, Dr Peter Boylan, revealed to RTÉ radio that former Health Minister Simon Harris had suggested to him that the new NMH could be co-located. in Tallaght instead.
A spokeswoman for Mr Harris confirmed: “The Minister briefly met Dr Boylan during a solicitation in Dublin Bay South on Saturday. They had a private discussion and the development of the National Maternity Hospital was discussed. Minister Harris reiterated his view and the government’s view that the state should own the land and discuss what other land the state owned in the city.
“As this was a private conversation, Minister Harris has no further comment.”
Mr Harris, however, was only repeating what his party leader warned last week that the new NMH may have to be built on other land in the state.
Micheál Martin was told that the issue of land ownership in St Vincent’s is a “defining moment” for its leaders and for the country.
TD told him he had to be ready to issue a campus-wide CPO at the St Vincent Hospital site in Dublin, where the new NMH is to be co-located.
Labor leader Alan Kelly said it was a ‘seismic’ moment and Irish society was at a crossroads after the refusal to relinquish ownership of the land by the St Vincent Hospital Group, which involves the Sisters of Charity. This Catholic religious order originally established and ruled Saint Vincent.
Mr Martin said he did not accept the group’s argument that he needed ownership of the land to ensure standards of care in the future. “Site ownership is not critical for that. I don’t think the arguments stack up at all, ”he said.
Mr. Martin called on the St Vincent Hospital Group to reflect on the views of the Oireachtas and the public interest. The Minister of Health has started discussions with stakeholders, he added.
But the Taoiseach said a CPO was “easily requested” as TD urged it to act urgently.
“Is everyone in the House willing to say that we will wait a number of more years while conditions deteriorate (at the existing facility on Holles Street)?” ” He asked. “We now know how long CPOs last. “
But Mr Kelly said the statement by the St Vincent Hospital Group on maintaining ownership of the land was “two fingers away from you, to your minister, to me, to everyone in this room and to the Irish people” .
Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald said a message should be sent to the Sisters of Charity, “with the greatest respect for them. It is the beginning, the middle and the end ”. She accused the Taoiseach of having ambiguity about what we were going to do.
Mr Kelly said the Taoiseach should “listen to your deputy minister” of the Department of Health, Mary Butler, who said of the statement released by the hospital group: “The letters C, P and O come to me. ‘mind.”
The Taoiseach spoke of governance arrangements, “but you’re not saying this is a public hospital on public land”.
The hospital group “was doing everything they could, trying to push you and the ministry into a corner,” he said.
“You must fight on behalf of the Irish people. It’s a seismic moment, we are at a crossroads. It is a seismic moment for the Irish people and the state, and the government must stand up.
“We should CPO the whole site. “