Irish Examiner view: What a fiasco

Irish Examiner view: What a fiasco

The construction site of the new National Children’s Hospital in Dublin.

Those young teenagers who might have benefitted from the services offered by a national children’s hospital when the idea was first discussed almost a quarter of a century ago are now approaching the foothills of middle age. 

Indeed, some of them may have children who need the treatment such a facility can best offer.

An Oireachtas committee heard yesterday that the hospital is unlikely to be operational before May 2024, the latest magical date offered in what has become a national embarrassment. 

The chairman of the National Paediatric Hospital Development Board David Gunning blamed BAM, the principal contractor on the €1.7bn — and climbing — project, for the delays. 

The relationship between the board and the contractors is fraught. 

BAM has submitted claims for more than €300m in additional costs, but Mr Gunning insists the board is defending each “robustly”. 

Some 100 such claims have been lodged since November and the board is withholding 15% of contracted monthly payments to BAM.

How long more can this nonsense go on?

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