National Maternity Hospital spends €500,000 after warnings of “unrepairable and permanent damage” to their over-stretched power supply system

The country’s main maternity hospital has had to spend more than €500,000 after being warned of the risk of a catastrophic power failure and a fire that would cause “unrepairable and permanent damage” to their electrical systems.

The National Maternity Hospital on Holles Street in Dublin had been operating using electrical cables that were laid around 35 years ago and which were never meant to manage the load that the hospital has needed in recent years.

An expert engineering report explained how the electrical system was frequently operating at a level way beyond its “recommended rating”.

The report said: “This will lead to a catastrophic power failure. When cables such as these fail, they have a real risk of causing a fire within a main switchboard/hospital building causing unrepairable and permanent damage.”

It said the expected wait time for replacement parts was in the order of four months during which the day-to-day running of the hospital would have been compromised.

The antiquated system had already caused the failure of back-up power equipment as well as the loss of the main electrical supply to the hospital during periods of “peak demand”.