The developers of a new centre to replace the Central Mental Hospital warned of significant additional costs on the project.
The new complex was projected to cost an estimated €140 million but the building contractor said the Covid-19 pandemic had caused significant delays and a major financial impact on them.
The new centre in Portrane, Co Dublin – which will be called the National Forensic Mental Health Service – was due to have been completed last year but was finally handed over to the health service earlier this month.
A letter released by the HSE shows contractor Rhatigan OHL saying the restrictions had seriously impacted productivity levels on the site leading to delays.
The letter said: “The manner in which the works are now being carried out is under completely different circumstances and/or conditions to that at the time of contracting.”
The letter said construction workers had been told in March 2020 to keep two metres distance from each other at all times.
“This immediately impacted and will continue to impact the productivity levels on the project,” they said.
The contractor said this had affected construction timelines and efficiency, and warned it was having a “major financial impact on [their] business”.
The letter – which was sent to the project architects in April – added: “We have incurred significant additional costs, which we will be seeking to recover.”