The Naming of the New Children’s Hospital ‘Were people expecting a name like that? It came as a surprise.’

As heard on liveline

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Phoenix. It’s a park, it’s a magazine, it’s a city in Arizona. It’s a word that is quite often spelled wrong. As revealed yesterday, it will also soon be the name of Ireland’s new children’s hospital. Christine told Joe Duffy on Tuesday’s Liveline that she’d rather it had a name that was a bit “more hospitally”, something like “The National Children’s Hospital, Dublin”, rather than “Phoenix”, a name she thought sounds more like a private medical facility. Joe told her that the name Phoenix  – originally suggested by a member of staff in one of the three existing children’s hospitals, apparently – had successfully made its way through a naming steering group, seven road shows, six focus groups and the Children’s Hospital Group board, fighting off 300 other suggested names on the way to victory. He read from the official blurb:

“A mythical character and a symbol of renewal, inspiration, vision, hope, growth, opportunity, regeneration. One word, easy for all to read and pronounce and translates into Irish, Féinics.”

Féinics? But Phoenix Park is Páirc an Fhionnuisce, isn’t it? Christine also mentioned the fact that the new hospital is seemingly seeking a derogation from certain fire safety regulations, which might make the new name more or less unsuitable, depending on your point of view. According to Christine:

“The popular thing on Facebook is to say that no, it’s terrible, it’s rotten, change the name back to something simple.”

And Joe tells us that Phoenix, Arizona has a children’s hospital which is one of the leading paediatric hospitals in the world and if you do a search online for “Phoenix Children’s Hospital”, you’ll be served results for the US facility. No surprises there, really. Christine, though, is confident of one thing:

“I’m sure the Dublin people will come up with a nickname for it very soon like they did with the Floozy in the Jacuzzi…”

Fire up your rhyming machines now, folks…!

You can hear the full chat with Christine, as well as the rest of Liveline, here:



© The Listener 2017

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