Publican offers 80-acre site for children’s hospital

A publican has offered 80 acres of cut-price land a short drive from the Mater, close to key national roads and with an already working water and sewage system as a potential site for a new children’s hospital.

Simon Rutledge, the owner of The White House bar in north-west Dublin, made the formal offer to Dr Frank Dolphin, head of the new children’s hospital review group.

The 65-year-old publican has offered the land at a knockdown price to help resolve the hospital dispute.

The land, at New Park, the Ward, is 5.6km from J5 of the M50, has “immediate access” to the R135 and is within 15 minutes drive of the Mater.

Due to its two-mile distance from the long-delayed Thornton Hall super-prison site, it is also close to existing water and sewage systems, further cutting costs.

While the alternative greenfield M50 adjacent site at Newlands Cross previously offered by Noel Smyth would cost nothing for the State to purchase, Mr Rutledge’s representative, Liam Miller, said other costs would be a factor.

“Any virgin greenfield site would attract considerable costs in laying road access construction, machinery access, etc,” he said.

Mr Miller said Mr Rutledge would hand over the 80-acre site for “considerably less” than the Thornton Hall prison location, that controversially cost more than €30m in 2005.

Meanwhile, it has emerged that last year’s review of plans to build the hospital at the Mater cost the taxpayer €115,586.87.

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