Politics

Varadkar expects Government determination on NMH on Tuesday


Tánaiste Leo Varadkar has stated he expects there to be a Government determination on the proposed new National Maternity Hospital (NMH) subsequent Tuesday.

Mr Varadkar has informed the Dáil on Thursday “we will see how things develop between now and then [Tuesday]”.

Speaking throughout Leader’s Questions, Mr Varadkar stated a obligatory buy order (CPO) of the location would imply extra prices of as much as “tens of millions” of euro, additional delay with the challenge and that finally the CPO would possibly fail.

He stated the Government had thought-about a CPO however that it will not have the co-operation of St Vincent’s Holdings CLG.

The website of the proposed new hospital at Elm Park in south Dublin was owned by the Religious Sisters of Charity, who transferred its shareholding to a brand new firm, St Vincent’s Holdings CLG. The land for the brand new hospital is to be leased to the State for 299 years at €10 per 12 months.

Mr Varadkar stated St Vincent’s Holdings CLG had been “very clear” with the Government that they don’t want to promote the location.

“If the site was at the edge of the campus, like the BreastCheck building, they might sell the site and they did that actually in relation to BreastCheck, but they’re very clear that this site is in the middle of their campus, they do not want to sell it,” he stated.

“So that might imply we must go down the route of a obligatory buy order. It would imply [St Vincent’s Holdings CLG] would withdraw co-operation from this challenge, they might stop to be companions on this challenge.

“So what which means completely is extra value, I can’t quantify what the extra prices can be however tens of thousands and thousands definitely, if no more, completely an additional delay as a substitute of this hospital being beneath building subsequent 12 months or the 12 months after, it undoubtedly wouldn’t be.

“And even at that point, the CPO might fail and then we’re back to square one and we have no hospital at all.”

The Fine Gael chief stated the Government had determined two weeks in the past to pause making a remaining determination on the proposed new National Maternity Hospital. He stated this was “a sensible approach” that allowed folks to ask questions, for transparency, the publication of paperwork and in addition to think about “what additional safeguards we might be able to add to the Government decision”.

“I do expect there will be a Government decision on this next Tuesday but we will see how things develop between now and then,” he stated.

Mr Varadkar was addressing Labour chief Ivana Bacik who stated it was “time to call the bluff”of the house owners of the location.

“It is time to call them out, because while a 299-year lease is certainly better than the previous alternative that was offered, a 99-year lease, it still remains different to freehold,” she stated.

“It nonetheless stays conditional possession, not outright possession in perpetuity and that’s the issue we have now.

“We believe it is time to call the bluff of the owners of the site and to say we as a State wish to take ownership in perpetuity of the land on which the new National Maternity Hospital is to be built, to put beyond doubt the future ownership and the future availability right into the next century, the future availability of all necessary maternity and reproductive health care services for women.”



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