THE Galway Clinic at Adare will open its doors at the beginning of next year, Mark Sheehan, who is business development manager with the privately-owned Galway hospital has confirmed to the Limerick Leader.
Initially, the private clinic will run an outpatient service at Adare Manor and will be known as the Galway Clinic at Adare.
But Mr Sheehan said he was both hopeful and confident that there would be a full hospital in the grounds of Adare Manor within five years.
Meanwhile, work is expected to begin in November on converting a residential wing of the Adare Manor clubhouse into an outpatient clinic.
“Different consultants will attend,” said Mr Sheehan, the son of surgeon Jimmy Sheehan who is a director of Galway Clinic and “passionate” about developing a similar facility in Limerick.
“In terms of services, we will have CT scans, X-rays, echo-cardiograms and ultrasound as well as blood-testing.”
Planning permission for a full hospital in the Manor grounds was granted by Limerick County Council several years ago but, following the financial crash of 2007/2008, investors in the project fell away.
About three years ago, Tom Kane, who is part-owner of Adare Manor Hotel and Golf Resort, approached the Galway Clinic about his plan and the project has been developed since.
However, according to Mark Sheehan, planning for the outpatient clinic took almost two years to secure. The site for the new clinic is in the refurbished stables, previously converted to bedrooms.
“We are not going to be doing structural changes,” he explained. “But it will be a very nice facility.”
The Galway Clinic, Mr Sheehan continued, would be “testing the waters” for the first year or two of operations. “We are going to assess the situation, to see what the demand is like,” he said. “We have planning for a hospital on the same grounds. It is dependant on how busy the outpatient clinic is.”
Any, potential, future hospital would seek to offer what is not already in the area and would work in tandem with the Galway Clinic, offering complementary services, Mr Sheehan explained.
Initially, the new clinic will provide only a handful of jobs. However, this is likely to change if the private medical centre develops. “There is huge potential,” Mr Sheehan said.
“It is my firm hope and belief we will have a full hospital down the line.”