By Patrick Flynn
A fungus-infested ambulance, which paramedics in Co Clare refused to drive on health and safety grounds, has been taken out of service by the HSE.
While it took four months for the HSE to respond to queries in relation to the vehicle, it has now confirmed that the controversial ambulance is no longer part of the National Ambulance Service fleet.
The 2011 registered vehicle had been sent to a private company for "deep cleaning" on three separate occasions last December and January, however the fungus returned each time.
Paramedics then refused to drive the vehicle until management had provided documented proof that the ambulance was "medically safe" to transport patients and staff.
The vehicle was removed from Ennis earlier this year however, despite requests to confirm whether the vehicle had been assigned to another station, the HSE did not respond for several months.
A HSE spokesman has now confirmed: "This vehicle has been decommissioned by the National Ambulance Service as part of the NAS fleet replacement programme."