WWN was granted unprecedented access to the site on which the National Children’s Hospital will eventually be built, sometime around your newborn turns 52.
Unfortunately the project director and the chairperson of the board of the NCH stepped down in disgrace so WWN had to make do with a tour from the Minister of Health, Simon Harris.
“On this historic day, after so many delays and unforeseen costs and entirely avoidable costs, we have broken ground on this vital project,” confirmed the Minister, shortly before a member of the construction team informed him that ‘breaking ground’ on the site would end up being another unforeseen price increase.
The site was a hive of activity, Meccano trucks filled with 40 million Lego bricks whizzed past us as builders armed with wheelbarrows full of cash traveled in the opposite direction, giddily exiting the site in a hurry.
Aware we were invited on this tour as we were deemed the news outlet that could be most easily manipulated into giving the government some vital positive PR spin around the project we promised the Minister we wouldn’t mention the fact the project is now estimated to cost in excess of €2 billion.
“No big project like this goes off without a hitch, and yes mistakes were made. If we could do it again from scratch, which we can but we’re pretending we can’t, of course we wouldn’t have let actual children near calculators and put them in charge of assessing the total cost, that was an error,” added the Minister, as he brushed off claims the Children’s Hospital had been constantly ringing Childline, seeking advice on how to emancipate from its reckless and irresponsible parents.
“That’s not true and it definitely wasn’t asking to be placed in a foster home west of the M50 on a greenfield site which all experts worth listening to said would be a better more nurturing environment”.
As we toured the construction site we were in awe of the metal frame that was now taking shape but our attention was drawn to a dispute which broke out as a passing parking warden clamped the Children’s Hospital, further increasing costs.
“Sorry, I don’t know what gets into me when I’m around hospital, the urge to unnecessarily clamp is too strong” the warden said as he applied one of those clamping stickers which are impossible to get off to every window set to go into the Children’s Hospital.
As we were leaving the site, which we must say looked every inch the €4 billion it will actually end up costing, we noticed a stray coffee cup lying on the ground. Pointing it out to a site official, construction was shut down so a contractor could find the most expensive way of disposing of it before doubling the cost and adding it to an invoice