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Children's hospitals consultants' report - Mary Lou McDonald challenges Taoiseach

3 February, 2006


Commenting on the expected release by Health Minister Mary Harney of the consultancy report on children's hospital services, Sinn Féin National Chairperson and Dáil candidate Mary Lou McDonald MEP has today challenged Taoiseach Bertie Ahern to explain clearly where he stands on the future of Temple Street Children's Hospital.

Ms McDonald made her comments after it emerged that the report will likely recommend specialist children's surgery be carried out at one hospital in Dublin.

Speaking in advance of the report today Ms McDonald said:

 "As a TD for the constituency in which Temple Street is located, the Taoiseach knows how critical the presence of an accessible children's hospital is to families and their peace of mind."

"The Taoiseach announced as far back as last October that a new hospital to replace Temple Street would go ahead as part of the ?500 million Mater Hospital redevelopment nearby.  The project has full planning permission and was due for tender last autumn and construction scheduled to begin this
month.

"Families on the northside of Dublin are worried that Mary Harney is intent on moving Temple Street Hospital's services miles away on the southside, with all of the problems of access in a city that has enormous problems caused by traffic gridlock.

"The Taoiseach owes it to families to explain what has changed since his declaration in October that the new Mater Hospital/Temple Street Hospital development should go ahead on the northside.

In addition local Councillor Christy Burke added:

"It goes without saying that families living in the northside of the city will view these consultancy recommendations with grave concern." ENDS

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