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“Dear Sir,

At this time of year many children are writing letters to Santa listing gifts of their choice.

JJ-letterSanta may or may not oblige all but we, as a nation, can oblige every child by giving a gift (not on anyone’s Santa list) which will last the entire childhood of today’s letter writers and for the entire childhood of all future child letter writers of this island. Our gift would be better than any Lego, Barbie or Frozen Dolls; better than any Game boy, bike, skates, personal computers or any fancy mobile phone.
We should give our children a perfectly sited and sensibly located Children’s Hospital.
This hospital will be sited on a greenfield site, accessible from the M50, in an area without city pollution, without traffic congestion. It will be sited in a place with green grass and trees as its backdrop. It will be sited in an area which parents and visitors alike may reach without traffic snarl ups and when they do reach it, will find adequate and affordable (perhaps even free) parking. There will be facilities for play because the volunteers currently working in all children’s wards will still be there giving their time with the same generosity which they have shown for nearly fifty years. There will be accommodation facilities for parents to remain with their sick children and finally an air of optimism will be palpable in all children’s hospitals during the construction of this building.
This hospital will definitely NOT be sited on the St James’s Campus which, not having been chosen some years ago ahead of the Mater, must therefore be second best. Second best is not good enough for our children. The man and woman in the street can see that this proposed location on St James’s is absurd. The parents who might use a hospital on this site can see it is just about the worst decision ever made for our sick children. Why can successive Ministers for Health not see the problem? Do they not want to see or is it simply that they cannot see it?
The provision of this Children’s Hospital is such a serious issue that it ill befits me to end on a facetious note but, would it be helpful if the collective body of decision makers went to Specsavers?”
Dympna M McMahonex-Chairperson of Children in Hospital in Ireland