Decision on Public Use of Baggot Street Hospital must be made within 6 months

09 July 2024

Labour Tipperary TD Alan Kelly today saw inside the long vacant Baggot St hospital building as part of a Public Accounts Committee visit, and called a decision to be made to bring it back into public use within six months either as accommodation or another public service.

Deputy Kelly said:

“It is a scandal that a large publicly owned building in the heart of our capital city has been left empty for decades. At a recent meeting of the Public Accounts Committee I secured a site visit to the Baggot St hospital building, and today I had the chance to see how bad it has got with a tour inside.

“Unfortunately the building is in a sorry state, and frankly has been allowed to deteriorate into a terrible condition. The vast majority of the site has been unused for decades, with the last services facing onto Haddington Road closing in 2019.

“Questions need to be asked about why such a valuable asset has been left empty for so long when, but we have a housing and accommodation emergency, it is a national disgrace.

“Labour strongly supports the plan to deliver a primary care centre on the part of the premises facing onto Haddington road that previously served as a drug treatment and community facility.

“However what really concerns me is the lack of engagement from both the HSE and Dublin City Council housing section and other relevant Departments about utilising the main building and site.

“The HSE should now agree to meet with Dublin City Councillors, in particular my colleague, and local representative Cllr Dermot Lacey who has long led a campaign to put this valuable asset back into use for the people.

“The building is now on the state’s register for disposal as the HSE don’t have a use for it. I believe this building must be put out for offer to other public bodies with a deadline for expressions of interest within the next 6 months. All the relevant documentation from the HSE about valuation and costing for bringing it back into use should be shared.

“The HSE don’t need it, and other service providers might want it. The Labour Party view is that this should remain in public use and could be used for housing, accommodation, or artd and cultural groups. The HSE has a costing of €32m to bring it back to a standard to be used, while it would be €45 million to bring it back to a clinical standard but it has no intention to do so as it has no use for it.

“The building is listed, but I am amazed that LDA who looked at the building and did a report on it, have not done anything more with it. Considering the shortage of refugee accommodation and the large budget being spent, I am also surprised that the Department of Integration hasn’t tried to do anything with it.

“This building has been on the national register for too long, and it’s now time someone used it. The Taoiseach should intervene if no public body will act, and a commitment is needed to provide the funding necessary to bring it back into public use. It would be a scandal for such an asset to be sold off due to a lack of imagination. It would also be a reward for those who have allowed it to lie empty for so long”

Labour Cllr Dermot Lacey, who represents Ballsbridge said:

“I have tabled a motion for next Tuesday’s Regional meeting of the HSE asking it to issue reports provided to the PAC to Councillors. This building must be retained in public use and we need to see the valuations put on the asset.

“I’m delighted that Alan managed to secure a visit into the building, and local Cllrs should now get to see firsthand how the HSE have allowed such a valuable asset to deteriorate over many years.”


Link to photos inside the hospital:

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