The European Investment Bank (EIB) has provided a loan to support the construction of a new children's hospital in Dublin.
The €490m loan is the largest-ever financial engagement by the European Union's lending institution in Ireland.
The 25-year loan was confirmed during a formal signature ceremony at government buildings in Dublin.
Leo Varadkar, the Taoiseach of Ireland, said the loan would transform the way in which it delivered care to sick children and their families.
“This loan from the European Investment Bank, the largest loan it has provided to Ireland to date, will allow us to build a world-class hospital, which will be a centre of paediatric research and medical education, as well as a safe and secure environment for families of sick children.
“I would like to thank the European Investment Bank and its president Werner Hoyer for its commitment and support in upgrading Ireland's infrastructure and helping us to build the health service we deserve.”
Andrew McDowell, vice-president of the EIB, said it was pleased to support the construction of Ireland's new children's hospital.
“In recent months the EIB has increased backing for social investment, supporting new investment in social housing, education and local infrastructure and new engagement was discussed with Irish ministers at the Ireland-EIB working group meeting earlier today.
“The new children's hospital is already providing opportunities for construction, engineering, mechanical and electrical firms from across the country that are already working on site and – once operational – healthcare, research and family support will be world class.”
The hospital is set to open in 2022 and will provide 380 individual inpatient rooms, as well as four acres of outdoor gardens and courtyards.
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