Cork North Central Workers’ Party candidate Cllr Ted Tynan said Labour candidate Cllr John Gilroy and Fine Gael candidate Cllr Pat Burton should be focusing on retaining existing services at under-threat hospitals instead of arguing over the location of a hospital that may never be built.
Cork County Council is considering rezoning around 300 acres in the Ballyvolane area which could, come an economic upturn, see the development of shopping centres, a major park and up to 3,000 houses.
Mr Burton has suggested that a new hospital could be built on the rezoned land.
However, Mr Gilroy said such a move would cost the taxpayer dearly and is totally unnecessary. Mr Tynan branded the argument between the other two candidates as “academic”. He said they are debating the merits of two sites which may never be developed instead of fighting to keep the Mercy University Hospital (MUH), and St Mary’s Orthopaedic Hospitals fully open.
“The people of Cork and of Cork North Central, in particular, want to keep the hospital services that they have and which have served them well over many years.
“They want to see those hospitals being modernised and improved and they are not interested in a political circus over what might happen when the recession is over, which is likely to be a very long time.”
Mr Gilroy, a psychiatric nurse at St Stephen’s Hospital, Glanmire, said the HSE already owns 110 acres on that site which would be an ideal location for a hospital, given its location next to the proposed Northern Ring Road.
Mr Burton has accused the Labour councillor of “failing to grasp the bigger picture. What we are aiming to do is transform the northside”.