It's now looking like it could be 2025 before the new National Children's Hospital opens, according to Sinn Féin's David Cullinane.
He says the saga around the hospital keeps getting "worse and worse", with the public still being given no indication of its likely final cost.
An Oireachtas committee today heard the price of the new hospital is likely to increase again beyond the current €1.4 billion price tag.
The new hospital's development board has said it can't provide a forecast of how much more the project will likely cost taxpayers.
However, 900 claims for extra money have been submitted by the builders.
Just 9 of those claims have been settled for a total cost of €2.5 million - while six more are likely headed to the High Court.
The new National Children's Hospital Development Board also revealed the hospital will likely be completed in December 2023, opening in the second half of 2024.
However, Deputy Cullinane told The Hard Shoulder he believes that date is likely too optimistic.
He said: “To be honest, we’re looking at 2025 before we see this hospital open.
“I don’t think we’re going to see much change out of €2 billion when the hospital is complete… but we don’t have answers to questions from the public today about what the final cost will be.
“COVID has delayed the project and all projects. But they can’t reasonably say that COVID is the reason why the project is in trouble - the project was in trouble long before COVID and long before Brexit.”
Deputy Cullinane suggested there's a "vacuum of accountability" when it comes to the long-running project's spiralling costs and major delays.
He said: “While there’s been a lot of focus on the inability of this State to build houses, it would seem we’re not very good at building hospitals either, both with this and now the national maternity hospital.
“The Department and Government really need to get their act together in relation to this hospital - it’s just a runaway train, an ongoing saga just keeps getting worse and worse and worse.”
The Sinn Féin health spokesperson said TDs and senators have been waiting since last year to get answers to "very basic questions" about the project.
He said: “The board promised they would have the information in the first quarter of this year… still we don’t have dates in relation to when the hospital will firmly be open.
"We got some provisional dates, but we certainly don’t have anything like what the final cost will be. I think that’s problematic.”