Future of new Merlin Park Hospital in doubt after hospice decision Taoiseach says

Galway Daily news Taoiseach Varadkar meeting with local businesses in Ballinasloe visit

An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar cast doubt on the future of a new hospital at Merlin Park in comments made in the Dáil this week.

The Taoiseach said that the recent decision to refuse planning permission for Galway Hospice on the site of Merlin Park will play heavily into any decisions made.

“Merlin Park as a solution for new hospital developments must be considered in the light of planning problems at the site where planning permission for the hospice has just been refused.”

He remarked that “very sadly and unfortunately” An Bord Pleanála had chosen to overturn planning permission granted for Galway Hospice.

A report by Saolta Hospital Group published last month identified Merlin Park as the preferred site for future hospital developments in Galway.

Taoiseach Varadkar was answering a question from Galway West TD Catherine Connolly about plans for delivering modular theatre units for Merlin Park hospital and the need for an entirely new hospital.

Deputy Connolly said that healthcare services in Galway are under extreme pressure “where the main hospital is creaking at the seams on a congested site.”

She was critical of the extremely slow pace that’s been evident in just delivering the modular theatre units for.

“We are going piecemeal and piecemeal, and we cannot even provide modular theatres, which are not the answer. The answer is a new hospital,” Deputy Connolly said.