Reilly meets with Taoiseach and Tánaiste over children’s hospital

The Taoiseach, Tánaiste, and health minister have met to discuss the proposed location for the national children’s hospital.

However, the Government refused to say if they had agreed on a site after a week of controversy on the issue.

Yesterday’s meeting lasted about an hour and saw James Reilly offer Enda Kenny and Eamon Gilmore his analysis on the findings of the Dolphin report.

The report is named after the chairman of the review group set up to assess the options for building the hospital after An Bord Pleanála rejected a planning application to construct it on the site of Dublin’s Mater Hospital.

Four locations are believed to be in the running: St James’s, James Connolly, the Coombe hospital, and a revised proposal for the Mater site.

However, the review group did not rank the locations. Instead, the plan was that Dr Reilly would assess the report and bring his own recommendation based on its findings to the Taoiseach and Tánaiste.

Controversy erupted this week after it emerged Mr Gilmore and his advisers had done their own research into the possible sites.

The revelation came just weeks after Mr Gilmore lost one of his ministers, Roisín Shortall, due to a clash with Dr Reilly over the location of primary care centres.

Mr Gilmore rejected suggestions the parallel research process demonstrated Labour’s lack of trust in the Fine Gael health minister.

Neither spokesperson for Mr Gilmore or Mr Kenny would say if the three men had agreed on a site.

“The minister for health briefed the Taoiseach and Tánaiste on his evaluation and analysis on the findings of the Dolphin report,” Mr Gilmore’s spokesperson said.

“The minister will now bring a proposal to Government for decision within two weeks.”

Mr Kenny’s spokesperson said he was “not going to add or subtract” from the above statement in any way. “It is a confirmation of the process.”

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