Dun Laoghaire needs its hospital – not another apartment complex

St Michael's hospital could be under threat because a property developer has entered into discussions with its owners on a possible take-over.


Noel Smyth, a key figure in the property company Alburn Ltd, has made a number of proposals to the St Vincent's Healthcare Group, which owns St Michael's. The St Vincent's Health Care group is, in turn, controlled by the Sisters of Mercy.

A subsidiary of Smyth's company has already acquired a large car park at the hospital and he has now entered discussions with the nuns to buy all, or part, of the remaining hospital.

If Noel Smyth acquires the hospital, it could, according to the Irish Times, mean the re-location of the hospital to a different location.

One possible site is the St Vincent's hospital site which is also owned by the Vincent's Healthcare Group. Recently an application for planning permission was submitted for new hospital unit on that site.

According to the Irish Times, the most likely scenario then is that Mr Smyth ‘would seek permission to build a high density mixed-use scheme on the land' at the St Michael's. Apartments on this complex would, it is estimated, cost between €600,000 and €800,000 – and even higher where they had a sea view.

Richard Boyd, People Before Profit Alliance candidate for Dun Laoghaire, believes that these developments are entirely unacceptable.

‘We need some transparency on this and I call on the management of the hospital to issue a statement which makes clear their precise intentions."

"I, however, am totally opposed to such moves and will be mounting a major campaign of opposition if parts of this hospital are demolished in favour of an apartment complex. The movement that stopped the building of an apartment complex on the seafront will be nothing compared to that which will rise up to prevent the re-location of this hospital."

"I am particularly concerned that that a former Dun Loaghaire Rathdown County Manager has joined Alburn Ltd soon after quitting his public sector job.  There should be a moratorium on such shifts."

"St Michael's hospital is at the heart of Dun Laoghaire and is a public resource.  Moving the hospital would be like tearing the heart out of the town."

"Instead of any run-down in local health services we need improvements. The A&E facilities at the hospital should be restored and Loughlinstown hospital should be upgraded to have a regional status."