PLANS for a new hospital in Lifford have taken a significant step forward following talks between the HSE and Donegal County Council.
A 3.5 acre space for the facility has been identified as part of a much wider redevelopment of lands along the N14.
If granted permission, the hospital will consist of a 25-bed unit, a primary care centre and 177 car parking spaces.
The Department of Health has indicated that the HSE can now move to apply for funding, a development campaign group Friends of Lifford Hospital said it was delighted with.
The group’s chairperson John Quinn said, “As chair of this very hard working committee l want to thank everyone for the work put in to getting this far.
“Let’s keep the pressure on until the first sod is cut and first brick put in place.”
If the hospital does get the go ahead, it will be built alongside a multi-million euro redevelopment of fields at Lifford Common.
Houses, sports facilities and a business park are also to be created as part of the scheme.
Councillor Gerry Crawford sits on the HSE West Health Forum and has long championed the need for a new hospital in the town.
He said recent discussions had been positive and that while the project was not yet over the line, it was a “good news story” going into 2023.
“The Department of Health has been encouraging in its contacts with the HSE and the HSE has indicated its commitment to providing a facility in Lifford,” said Councillor Crawford.
“I have met with members of the HSE team and with Donegal County Council’s team on several occasions and there is a positive attitude on both sides at this time to this hospital being located within that shared space development.
“What we are being told now is good news in itself but it is also the first step on a long journey.
“I recognise the efforts of everyone involved here, the Friends of Lifford Hospital group, the council and the HSE in working towards getting a commitment on what is going to be a very exciting project.
“It will take time but it gives great hope that in the fullness of time the people of Lifford and its wider catchment will be provided for in terms of healthcare.”
Sinn Féin TD Pearse Doherty described the latest development in the long running saga of Lifford hospital as “very encouraging”.
“Something we have fought a long time for has taken a step closer to becoming a reality with the news that a 3.5-acre site has been identified for the new Lifford community hospital. This is very encouraging news for the area and I know it has already been welcomed by the Friends of Lifford Hospital.
“I would also like to again commend the local community and Friends of Lifford Hospital for all the great work they have done up to this point.
“We in Sinn Féin will continue to work with them to ensure that progress is made as quickly as possible.”
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