Health Minister Harris: Plenty of room at St James' site for new Children's Hospital

Health Minister Harris: Plenty of room at St James' site for new Children's Hospital

Update 1pm: Health Minister Simon Harris has said there is plenty of space for the new Children's Hospital at the site of the existing St James in Dublin city.

His comments come despite an ongoing campaign to locate the Children's Hospital off the M50 on the site of Connolly Hospital.

"Not only is there space for current population demands, but also projected future growth demands. There is a significant amount of space at the (St James') site," he said.

"We've got to get on with finally delivering the state-of-the-art, world-class hospital that our children and their families deserve."

Earlier:

The row over where to build the new National Children's Hospital has erupted again this weekend.

It comes as an early surge in respiratory infections left Temple Street, Crumlin and Tallaght Hospitals in Dublin all appealing to patients to bring children to their GPs and only come to hospital in cases of emergency.

Campaigners say the crisis at Dublin's main children's hospitals this weekend proves there is an "unmitigated disaster" ahead if the Government builds the new National Childrens' Hospital in the city centre.

The Connolly for Kids group is calling on the Taoiseach to build the new facility at Connolly Hospital beside the M50 instead of at St James's Hospital in Dublin City Centre.

Connolly for Kids member, consultant Jimmy Sheehan, said: "Connolly is the ideal site because it meets all the criteria.

"(Building at St James') would be an unmitigated disaster, " he said.

"Having a maternity hospital directly linked to the new national paediatric hospital - now that the Rotunda Hospital has been designated to be moved out to Connolly - is the critical element."

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