Thursday, 12 May 2022
Ceisteanna ó Cheannairí - Leaders' Questions
Leo Varadkar (Dublin West, Fine Gael)
As the Deputy knows, the entire St. Vincent's campus is owned by a secular non-profit company, a charity. It has been very clear with us that it does not wish to sell the site. If the site were at the edge of the campus, like the BreastCheck building, it might sell the site as it did in the case of BreastCheck. It is very clear that this site is in the middle of its campus and it does not want to sell it. That would mean we would need to go down the route of a CPO.
It would mean they would withdraw co-operation from this project. They would cease to be partners in the project. That would absolutely mean additional cost. I cannot quantify what the additional cost would be but it would certainly be tens of millions, if not more. It would absolutely mean further delay. Instead of the hospital being under construction next year or the year after, it definitely would not be. Even at that point, the compulsory purchase order might fail, and then we would be back to square one with no hospital at all.
I appreciate the Deputy is being honest and is putting forward an alternative but I do not think it is a good alternative and I could not recommend that to the women of Ireland.