Children’s Hospital will cost over €2 billion
- Déjà vu from five years ago
Under questioning from Labour’s Alan Kelly in the Public Accounts Committee, the Children’s Hospital Board essentially confirmed that the project would run to over €2 billion.
Deputy Kelly said:
“I was met with stoney silence from witnesses in the Committee today when I put it to them that this project would be over €2 billion, as I first highlighted in January 2019.
“At the time I was told that I was exaggerating the costs, yet here we are, almost five years on, it’s like déjà vu.
“At this stage, there isn’t a hope of this project being handed over in October 2024. Based on the projections we heard in PAC today, it is clear that their has been a total failure to project manage the building of this hospital.
“The lack of oversight on the project is failing the people of Ireland – delaying the development of this much needed hospital and costing well in excess of what it should have.
“We know despite the cost and scale of the project that no official from the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform sat on the Children’s Hospital Project & Programme Steering Group. This was a huge mistake on behalf of the Government.
“Children’s Hospital Ireland need six months to commission from handover, so the promised April 2024 full opening will likely pass into 2025. It’s outrageous. Government have utterly failed to keep an eye on this project and deliver it quickly and affordably.
“The Department confirms that at the end of this month or early next month, they will be putting a memo to Government on the total cost of the project. The Department has also confirmed many projects have been pushed back due to the overrun in the Children’s Hospital.
“This is no way to do business.
“The most galling thing of all is none of these costs include the staffing of the hospital. It’s nothing short of a fiasco.
“The hands-off approach to this project by Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil among the underestimation of costs of this project has brought us to where we are today. It beggars belief. There now needs to be robust debate, whether at Committee or in the Dáil chamber itself on tendering and the lessons that can be learned.”