It has been revealed the HSE has threatened legal action against HIQA to prevent the publication of a report into the deaths of five babies at the Midland Hospital in Portlaoise.
The report is believed to be highly critical of senior managers in the HSE.
The Irish Times today says the issue has provoked a furious row between HIQA - the independent health regulator - and the HSE and has led to a delay in the report being published.
The report was ordered more than a year ago after a damning HSE investigation found the maternity unit was unsafe.
The Chief Medical Officer of the Executive investigated a series of baby deaths between 2006 and 2012 and found that the families got limited respect, kindness, courtesy and consideration after raising concerns about the deaths of their babies.
Four babies at the centre of the inquiry died either during labour or within seven days of birth.
The HIQA report was ordered after Dr Holohan's report was made public.
They are reported to have found passivity among senior managers and constant changes in corporate structures in the health service.
It also says the hospital is only funded as a local facility despite having regional hospital status. The Irish Times today reports the HSE is now threatening to halt publication of the report.
In a statement, the HSE says they are now working to bring finality to their input while HIQA says the report will be published once it has been approved by the board.