Charity: No one wants to see the new children's hospital at St. James's

CEO of The Jack & Jill Foundation says it's being "locked out" of discussions

Charity: No one wants to see the new children's hospital at St. James's

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One of the country's biggest children's charities says it's being locked out of a Health Committee meeting to discuss the location of the new National Children's Hospital.

The Jack & Jill Children's Foundation - who've looked after over 2,000 families of sick children - says no one involved in children's health wants to see the new hospital located at St James's.

Members of the Dáil committee are meeting with the National Paediatric Hospital Development Board and the campaign group Connolly for Kids today.

CEO Jonathan Irwin says by not inviting the charity, the committee is missing the opportunity to hear how the location will affect people.

"Surely the object is to arrive at a situation where all our elected representatives have a very clear idea of how the parents feel, rather than how the politicians feel," he said this morning.

Some 80% of the country's county councils have so far passed a motion against the planned location, according to the Connolly for Kids Hospital group.

Back in 2012, the then Minister for Health James Reilly said the site offered scope for the building not only of a children's hospital, but also of a new maternity hospital in the future.

Government will have to approve the price negotiated by the project team with the builders, and legislation providing for the amalgamation of the three existing children’s hospitals in Dublin will have to find favour with all those affected.

Earlier this month, chief executive of the Children’s Hospital Group Eilis Hardiman said people were starting to get "excited" about the build.

“We’re at the stage where detailed decisions on the new hospital are being made, such as where to place the plugs in the 6,000 rooms in the new building," she added.