THE vast majority of Dublin City councillors have backed a proposal to name the new National Children’s Hospital after Dr Kathleen Lynn.
Dr Lynn was a veteran of the 1916 Rising and the founder of St Ultan’s Children’s Hospital to care for the children of the poor in Dublin.
Lord Mayor Micheal Mac Donncha has written to the National Paediatric Hospital Development Board to call for the new hospital to be named after Dr Lynn. His letter was signed by 57 of the 63 Dublin City councillors.
Mayor Mac Donncha said: “The vast majority of members of Dublin City Council fully support the proposal that the new children’s hospital should be named after Dr Kathleen Lynn.
“We are urging the board to adopt this name in preference to the name currently being put forward: ‘the Phoenix’.
“This proposed name has been widely questioned already, given that another health facility in the city bears this name, and also that there is a Phoenix Children’s Hospital in the USA.
“We believe that the most appropriate name for the new hospital should be in honour of Dr Kathleen Lynn – a pioneering medical doctor who worked tirelessly for decades for the health and well-being of the children of Dublin and Ireland.”
A similar political and public interest in honouring the women of The Rising, and of the city, culminated in the naming of the Rosie Hackett Bridge, which opened in 2014.
However, a spokesperson for the Children’s Hospital Group told The Gazette that the name ‘Phoenix’ had been chosen as the new name for acute children’s healthcare services in Ireland.
The group said the name had been chosen following an extensive consultation process involving staff, children, young people and service users.
The spokesperson added: “Over the course of the next number of years, there will be a process to name theatres, wards and visitor spaces.
“As a leading research and academic hospital, there will also be a focus on academic scholarships, research grants and bursaries.
“We plan that the contribution that Dr Kathleen Lynn made to the care of children in Ireland 100 years ago will be recognised in a meaningful and appropriate way within the new hospital upon its completion.
“It is also worth noting that Dr Kathleen Lynn is already recognised in Tallaght Hospital, where there is a ward named after her.”