Cork County Council is to write to the HSE saying that instead of building a new hospital at Curraheen, near Bishopstown, it should utilise the 117-acre St Stephen’s Hospital in Glanmire.
Councillors want the HSE to refurbish a number of derelict building on the St Stephen’s Hospital site as emergency accommodation for the growing number of homeless people. This hospital, which opened as a regional sanatorium in 1956, is currently used to treat mental health patients, children with learning difficulties and problem teenagers.
Cllr Ger Keohane said St Stephen’s is totally under-utilised and with proper investment and planning the site could also cater for an A&E department, centre for minor surgery and a 24/7 suicide prevention unit.
Cllr Noel Collins, a former social worker who works with the homeless, said it would be an ideal location for a homeless shelter.
Cllr Anthony Barry said the Glanmire hospital was ideal for an A&E because it was close to the city but would be easier to access than Curraheen because it wouldn’t have anyway near the level of traffic congestion.
“It has great potential because it’s so large that you could develop proper parking facilities. It’s a prime site for development,” Cllr Kevin Conway said.
He said upgrading St Stephen’s Hospital had huge advantages as it is situated two kilometres from Glanmire village and seven kilometres from Cork City.
He pointed out that proposals have been put in place to build a northern link road, which would connect the M8 north of Glanmire with the main Cork-Limerick road and the western side of the city.