Maurice Neliigan, retired cardiac surgeon from the Mater Hospital, has written to the Times and said on RTE radio that the Mater site is all wrong for a childrens' hospital and that the project should be put on hold until we have the money to do it the right way in the right place.
His points were
- the site is too small and too difficult to access by car
- there's no green space and it would be bad for children
- the "international experts" cited as supporting it weren't asked about the site and hadn't visited it.
- some consultation of experts was just a phone call
- we should stop building overpriced vanity projects and should build something functional
- NAMA will provide loads of sites and the choice should be revisited.
He was clear enough that the bad decision was made as a result of the influence of Bertie Ahern, the then Taoiseach, who was thanked by the Mater for his pains in an email that became public.
Money has been allocated for this project under the reduced NDP (400 million, I think). Wouldn't it be better to use resources to keep nursing staff in employment, rather than into a 16 storey glass tower in the wrong place ?