Families and children finally getting hospital they deserve
As the people who are at the forefront of delivering paediatric healthcare services in the three Dublin children’s hospitals, we were delighted and relieved when planning permission was granted in April for the new children’s hospital at St James’s Hospital and the two urgent care and OPD satellite centres at Tallaght and Connolly Hospitals.
The delivery of these new facilities, and the bringing together of staff from the three children’s hospitals in a world-class building on a campus shared with St James’s Hospital, will positively transform and improve the health care that is delivered to children that need it the most.
Co-locating with one of Ireland’s leading hospitals — St James’s — is important because it ensures that our staff will be supported in the best possible way to deliver improved clinical outcomes for Ireland’s sickest children. This is what matters most to us, and to the families that we serve. In time, the Coombe Women & Infants University Hospital will also be relocated to the same greater Dublin area campus — making the campus at St James’s Hospital an unrivalled campus of healthcare excellence and expertise.
There is no alternative hospital that would deliver the multiplicity of benefits to the children and young people in our care than St James’s Hospital. It is recognised international best practice, from a clinical perspective, to locate children’s hospitals on the same campus as an adult teaching hospital with the breadth and depth of specialities to support complex paediatric services and a maternity hospital that provides service for high risk mothers and babies — known as tri-location. The tri-location of the new children’s hospital, St James’s Hospital and in time the relocated Coombe Women and Infants University Hospital will create a campus of clinical expertise to support highly specialist service delivery, research, innovation and education. Therefore, the selection of this location by an expert group four years ago was the right decision and one that we fully support.
Ireland is finally getting the children’s hospital that young people, children and families so badly deserve. We are motivated to ensure that this happens, as planned and on schedule. We work with children and families in inappropriate conditions every day. We have committed our time and energy into ensuring that the design of the new children’s hospital meets their clinical and mental needs — ensuring that the facilities and the care are the best available anywhere in the world. The development team is just weeks away from getting started. We plan to be out there with them on this momentous day for Ireland.
Join Commonwealth for a United Ireland
Considering Brexit has happened, what should Ireland do? Considering that Britain is our largest trading and nearest neighbour should we not follow suit and leave the EU and even consider rejoining the Commonwealth? There are two billion people in the commonwealth and these would all become potential customers. We would have markets in Canada, Australia, New Zealand and dozens of other countries with no tariffs or trade barriers.
Certainly Ireland benefitted greatly when we joined the EU initially, in particular the farming community. We were considered one of the poorer countries. But now apparently we are a wealthy country in comparison to other countries from Eastern Europe.
Therefore we would not benefit any more from EU funding, indeed we would now be a net contributor.
Let us not forget that all the EU organisations, the IMF, the troika etc imposed the bailout on Ireland. Irish GDP is less than 1% of the GDP of the whole EU, why then were all the austerity measures imposed on us? I will never understand why one small toxic Irish bank (Anglo Irish Bank) could possibly cause contagion of all the large banks in Europe.
Our political leaders of that time have a lot to answer for.
One last point, the idea of joining the British Commonwealth may be anathema to those of republican or nationalist persuasion, but this would eliminate the border between the Republic and Northern Ireland. Maybe even be the first step to a United Ireland within the Commonwealth!
UK just moved a step closer to breaking up
It appears to me that a majority of the voters in England and Wales excluding London and a small number of other areas have forgotten that the only good union for the Act of Union was the European Union. This vote to leave, it seems to me, will hasten the break-up of the United Kingdom.
May other states be as courageous
It is ironic to witness Britain seeking independence after so many other countries sought independence from it in the past. Britain is still our nearest big sibling, so we must continue to have a good relationship with it. I hope that the world-renowned power of Britain’s great institutions will regain its voice after decades of stifling EU bureaucracy. May others have the wisdom to follow its courageous example.
Lord Mandelson says Labour did not have a strong voice in the debate on Europe and that Jeremy Corbyn needs to reflect on his leadership. Ever since Jeremy Corbyn became leader he has come under attack from powerful people in his own party and the media. He has particularly been dogged by accusations that he presides over a party riven with antisemitism, to the point where the Labour Mayor of London has said he wears a badge of shame. Labour MP John Mann said there is a serious level of antisemitism in the Labour Party and the cause is the “vicious hatred” of those who joined Labour to support Jeremy Corbyn. Does Lord Mandelson share these beliefs? If so he should have said so. If not he should have spoken up loud and clear in defence of the party leader rather than standing by as his good name was dragged through the mud. He should reflect on his own behaviour rather than trying to use the EU vote as a club with which to beat Jeremy Corbyn.
Telling the rest of us to eff off
The UK referendum result says the English have not only decided to tell the rest of the people of Europe but also the rest of the people on these islands to eff off. That is similar to what they said when a million on this island were allowed to die of hunger in the 1840s.
Then they were head of a world wide empire and they could afford to do so with impunity.
Now the consequences could be the disintegration of the UK. The interests of Scotland and Northern Ireland are now in total opposition to the self-defined interests of the English.
Given Brexit will the UK be banned from the Eurovision Song Contest?
An opportunity for alternative Europe
This Exit vote should be seen as an opportunity for an alternative Europe. I welcome this blow to the EU project, the EU has never been about a workers’ Europe and its recent treatment of Greece and Ireland shows its primary concern is not the welfare of citizens or refugees but the welfare of the banks and the bond holders.
The EU’s disgraceful treatment of migrants shows that any claim of Europe being progressive died with the signing of the EU-Turkey deal.
It’s a pity that Jeremy Corbyn, with his anti-austerity, pro worker and internationalist record did not take a lead in supporting an Exit. Had he campaigned against it the whole debate could have been pulled away from the racist and far-right rhetoric. And we would not be hearing the nonsense that this is just a racist and a right-wing vote.
This vote is the chickens coming home to roost for a Europe of austerity, increasingly undemocratic and dominated by corporate interests. David Cameron and the EU are the authors of their own crisis. It is their policies of unjust austerity and their disgraceful treatment of desperate refugees that has deepened disaffection and alienation among masses of people in both Britain and across Europe and created the space for dangerous forces from the far right to emerge.
If we want to defeat vile xenophobes like Nigel Farage it is not by defending the indefensible policies of the EU, rather it will be by demanding economic justice, real democracy and genuine internationalism across Europe and beyond.
In fact, there is no reason why nasty right wingers like Farage or Boris Johnson should be the beneficiaries of this vote. The defeat of Cameron and the EU presents a huge opportunity for the left to build a real political alternative of a progressive and internationalist kind.