Dublin PR firm receives €1.37m in fees from National Children's Hospital

Dublin PR firm receives €1.37m in fees from National Children's Hospital
The construction site at the National Childrens Hospital at St. James's Hospital Dublin Photo:Gareth Chaney/Collins

The public relations firm working for the agency constructing the €1.7bn National Children’s Hospital (NCH) was paid a further €372,132 in fees (incl. 23% VAT) on the project last year.

New figures provided in response to a Freedom of Information request show that Q4PR was one of over 50 third parties to share in payments totalling €213.88m for 2019 from the National Paediatric Hospital Development Board (NPHDB).

The NPHDB confirmed that the total spend on the project at the end of 2019 was €469.43m.

The detailed breakdown for last year shows that Q4PR was paid €372,132 under the heading of ‘community engagement and communication services’.

The 2019 payout follows payments totalling €1m to the company over the preceding four years concerning the project - in 2018, the company received fees of €248,050 and this followed payments of €276,467 in 2017; €274,567 in 2016 and €204,509 in 2015.

The company secured the PR contract in 2015 and it is due to continue until March 2021.

The figures for 2019 show that the architects of the ambitious NCH project, BDP were last year paid €6.48m in architect design team fees.

The FOI response also discloses that Dublin City Council was last year paid €3.73m in planning fees and expenses.

Linesight was paid €6.25m for construction management services and quantity surveying work on the project.

Other third parties to receive in excess of €2 million for work on the National Children’s Hospital last year include Arup which received €2.98m for mechanical and electrical design team fees.

ESB Networks received €2.9m for providing the electrical connection to the project while O’Connor Sutton Cronin received €2.85m for civil and structural design team fees in 2019.

Other payments include €556,061 to McCann Fitzgerald for legal services in 2019 and €776,773 to Blackrock Expert Services for ‘project controls and claims management services.

Work only resumed last week on the project after the close down of the site due to Covid 19.

Prior to work recommencing, in a statement, BAM stated: “Work will recommence with the safety of all stakeholders as the top priority and with full implementation of the Government’s mandatory Covid-19 restrictions. We look forward to a successful resumption and getting this vital project moving, notwithstanding all of the challenges that are not of our making.”

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