A state-of-the-art, 80-bed community nursing unit (CNU) has recently been completed on the site of the Sheil hospital in Ballyshannon, Co. Donegal.

The €14.5m project comprises sixty-six single bedrooms and seven twin bedrooms in a combination of long-stay, short-stay and specialist dementia wards. Significant upgrades to the existing hospital building were also undertaken to facilitate day hospital and other ancillary services.

ROD provided civil and structural engineering services for the development, with Rhatigan Architects, Varming Consulting Engineers (M&E) and Turner & Townsend (QS) among the other members of the team. The main contractor was Letterkenny-based Boyle Construction Ltd.


Works included car parking and site services improvements and the construction of a dual carriageway southern link road to provide a new entrance to the hospital and ease local traffic congestion.

SuDS measures, including surface water attenuation and a green roof construction, were incorporated into the design to improve the building’s sustainability.


Protecting and retaining the character of the existing hospital, a three-storey listed building dating from the 19th century, while complementing it with a new modern facility compliant with national standards for health services, posed a key challenge for the project team.

The steeply sloping site and the requirement for drainage consents to the River Erne added further complexity.

To meet these challenges, we drew heavily upon the wider ROD team’s traffic, water, environmental and geotechnical expertise, making this a truly multidisciplinary project.

Next steps

The Health Service Executive (HSE) will complete the HIQA processes in the coming months, paving the way for residents to move into the new facility. 


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