Longford-Westmeath Fianna Fáil TD Robert Troy has called on Fine Gael TD Nicky McFadden to come clean with constituents and indicate what insider information/knowledge she has that Mullingar is being considered as a location for the National Children’s Hospital. Has a site been identified in Mullingar suitable for such a national facility? “Mullingar is one of the biggest maternity hospital outside of Dublin and has a great record of service to patients and as a local resident and TD for the area there is nothing I would like more to see the National Children’s Hospital located there. I think it is deeply cynical for any local politician to be suggesting or talking up the notion that the new National Children’s Hospital could be built in Mullingar when it is clear from national and international research that this hospital will be built in Dublin with strong ties to a major teaching hospital.
“I know there is a public debate and a review ongoing on the best possible site for the hospital and I hope that it can be concluded as quickly as possible but I have no information that Mullingar is even being considered by the government as a possible location. My information is that the hospital will be built in Dublin. Dublin already has Crumlin Hospital, Temple Street University Hospital, Holles Street, The Coombe and I think it is deeply cynical for any local politician to be suggesting or talking up the notion that the new National Children’s Hospital will be built in Mullingar. Every TD in the Dáil could call for the new hospital to be built in their constituency just to get a few dishonest headlines, raise local expectations, and pretend to be furthering the interests of the town. I believe that we must be realistic with people and not try to score points over such a serious issue. If Deputy McFadden manages to bring the National Children’s Hospital to Mullingar I will be the first to acknowledge the great service she and her Government has done to the town of Mullingar and will cooperate with her in every way possible to ensure it becomes a reality. On the other hand if it does not become a reality I will expect the Deputy to admit she was only kite flying for cheap political gain.
“The children of this country, for years to come, deserve the best possible care and world-class facilities. All of the expert reports on this issue that I have studied indicate that it should be co-located with a major teaching hospital which would mean that the hospital should and will be located in Dublin.
“I would call on Deputy McFadden to detail for the constituents of Longford-Westmeath what discussions she has had with Minister Reilly on this issue and to state clearly what prospect he feels her suggestion has. I think this is a clear case of naked political opportunism at its worst and Deputy McFadden should know better than to play politics with the health of children of the children of the nation.”
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