Excuse me, Taoiseach?
Eh-eh-eh-eh howya, Brendan? Are youse – I mean you – here about the poor little sick kids?
Yes, Taoiseach. I have the full report for you on the national children’s hospital.
Eh, no, no, Brendan. Just like, gimme da main bitsss.
Very well, Taoiseach. Well, we have a number of options for you. There’s an offer from a group of public-spirited businessmen.
Rich people who want to help. They propose to build the new hospital on a green-field site, adjacent to the main road network.
Eh, no, B-b-b-b-brendan. Tha-tha-that won’t do.
No. No, I tink it should be in da inner siddy. In da Mater.
They make the point that parents will be able to drive their sick children directly to the hospital door. Unlike the inner city.
No. Soon there’ll be trains to the inner siddy, an’ buses, and planes an’ every bleedin ting. Why can’t dey just shove the kids on a tram? Dey can’t be dat bleedin sick.
The consortium will provide the hospital to the State at no profit to themselves.
Never. We don’t need their bleedin charity. Dis is da Seltic Tiger.
Taoiseach, they make the point that their proposed site will be large and open, with room for expansion, and large green spaces for the children to walk in, recuperate or even to play. With sunlight and fresh air.
Inner siddy! Da Mater.
Taoiseach, they also point out that there will be much more space for parents to stay with their sick children. This will reduce the burden on staff and ease the children’s anxieties.
Inner siddy! Inner siddy! Inner siddy! We’ll build it fifteee stawreys high if we hafta.
Taoiseach, if I may ask an indelicate question?
Go go go go ahead Brendan.
Well, Taoiseach, I notice that you already agreed a deal on another matter with the Sisters of Mercy at the Mater Hospital. I gather that their Sister Helena O’Donoghue made an agreement with you. It seems the taxpayer picks up almost all the costs of the religious orders regarding child sexual abuse.
Yeh. Da poor little kids.
Indeed. One thousand two hundred million euros, I gather. And I notice that you also paid the same nuns twenty million pounds to buy their hospital?
Yeh. Eh, eh, I can’t remember how much it was. I was gettin divorced at the time.
But you gave them back control of it after paying them the money.
Ah, yeh. I forgot.
And now, you want to locate the national children’s hospital on their site?
Yeh. Dass it.
Correct me if I’m wrong, Taoiseach, but didn’t you once work in the Mater Hospital as some sort of financial controller?
Yeh. Jaysus Brendan, they have me by the bollocks.