Thousands of State-run nursing home beds face closure because of poor accommodation standards.
According to a report carried by The Irish Times, the health watchdog HIQA is growing "frustrated" with years of inaction within the HSE on refurbishment - and is introducing a "get tough" policy.
HIQA has proposed refusing registration to two centres, while a further 10 may be barred from accepting new residents. Meanwhile a further 36 homes will soon be faced with decisions.
HIQA's deadline for nursing homes to meet acceptable standards of accomodation passed at the start of last month, and the watchdog is already taking action against centres it believes are falling short.
Under the rules, homes have to provide a minimum level of space per resident, and should not house more than two people in the same bedroom.
The centres can prevent closures by setting out a clear timeline for improvement.