The Taoiseach and the Minister for Health have said that the new National Children's Hospital in Dublin will proceed as planned.

Their comments come in the wake of the resignation of the chairman of the hospital's development board last week.

Philip Lynch cited differences with Minister Mary Harney on what he called a number of significant and fundamental issues.

Speaking on RTÉ Radio, Ms Harney said that it is 'a major priority' of hers to build the hospital, and that she is passionately committed to it.

The minister told Marian Finuance that she lost confidence in Mr Lynch's capacity to chair the hospital's development board.

Ms Harney said it was not in the remit of the former chairman to revisit the Government's decision on the location.

She said that the mandate of the development board was 'to build a hospital at that site (at the Mater).'

Ms Harney paid tribute to the fantastic work Mr Lynch did, but she insisted that he had gone outside his mandate by 'going out reviewing green field sites' which 'clearly wasn't appropriate,' she said, 'because the decision was made four years ago.'

She said that there was 'a lot of innuendo about how the site was chosen,' and that 'there was never going to be unanimity about the site.'

Taoiseach Brian Cowen today echoed Ms Harney's assertion that the project is not in doubt, and will proceed as planned.

It is to be developed on a site adjacent to the Mater Hospital in Dublin at an expected cost of €650m.

Mr Lynch has expressed concerns over a funding gap, what he termed the absence of governance proposals, and challenges for the Mater site.

There have been varying reactions from lobby groups to his departure.

The New Children's Hospital Alliance wants the project to be put on hold immediately, while the New Crumlin Hospital Group warned against delays amid the current controversy.

The Tallaght Hospital Action Group has said it is glad that levels of services for children to be located at the Urgent and Ambulatory Care Centres at Tallaght Hospital is now being raised.