The behind-the-scenes moves illustrate just how poor the working relationship is between Dr Reilly and the Labour Party.
As a result, Mr Gilmore’s advisers are talking with the various bidders and compiling their own file on where to locate the new national facility, the Irish Independent has learned.
Mr Gilmore’s desire to be informed independently of the decision-making process follows the controversy over Dr Reilly’s selection of primary care centres. “He does like to get his own information.
“Based on recent events, you can’t say it’s surprising,” a senior government source said.
The children’s hospital will be the largest capital infrastructure project agreed by the Government.
The race for the facility is neck-and-neck between St James’s Hospital and James Connolly Hospital in Blanchardstown, with the Coombe in third place as an “alternative” and the original site in the Mater Hospital in fourth.
“James’s and Blanchardstown stand out, followed by the Coombe and then the Mater,” a senior government source said.
Dr Reilly has got an expert report back assessing the options for the hospital.
The Dolphin Report, named after its chairman Frank Dolphin, didn’t rank the different locations, leaving it up to Dr Reilly to make a recommendation.
The decision is due to be agreed between Taoiseach Enda Kenny, the Tanaiste and Health Minister before being brought to Cabinet for ratification.
But the trio has yet to meet, with no date scheduled for the discussion.
Despite Mr Kenny saying a fortnight ago that the decision would be taken within 10 days, there is no sign of it coming to Government.
Dr Reilly will formally take the decision to his cabinet colleagues with the endorsement of the Taoiseach and Tanaiste.
Mr Gilmore’s officials have had meetings with a number of those involved in the various bids. There has also been specific information requested from bidders.
Taoiseach denies James Reilly will have final say on children’s hospital location – National News – Independent.ie
Enda Kenny said the Government would take on board recommendations from the minister but, ultimately, it would make the final decision as a whole.
“The Minister for Health will bring his recommendations to myself as Taoiseach and to the Tanaiste in the next 10 days, and the Government at Cabinet will make a decision,” said Mr Kenny.
Dr Reilly will deliver his recommendations, following the findings of a report from an expert group, to government within the next fortnight.
It is reported that he is likely to recommend Connolly Hospital in Blanchardstown as the most suitable site for the new hospital.
It considered more than 40 bids for the site, including Connolly, the Mater Hospital and St James’s Hospital.
The Taoiseach said Dr Reilly had reflected on the Dolphin report and that the Department of Health carried out its own reviews.
The Health Minister will make his recommendations based on those findings.
Dr Reilly appointed the special review group earlier this year after An Bord Pleanala rejected controversial government plans to build a 15-storey building on the Mater site in north Dublin.
The planning appeals board argued that the original planned 74m-high building over 100,000 sq ft was too large and out of place with the Georgian city skyline.
It has been estimated that €33 million has been spent on the 400-bed project to date. Around €200 million in funding was earmarked from the sale of a National Lottery licence, with the winning bidder tied to an upfront payment.
It was originally anticipated that the new national children’s hospital would be completed by 2016. Following the last setback in March, Dr Reilly insisted that the Government would do its best to ensure as little delay as possible.
The minister has been under continued fire over recent months following a string of controversial decisions including health cuts proposals and an embittered relationship with a junior minister that led to her quitting.
Opposition TDs and two MEPs from his own party, Labour, also called for his resignation.