Nurses are to stage a number of lunchtime protests outside hospitals around the country next week over staffing shortages and overcrowding at emergency departments.
At a meeting with the HSE yesterday, the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation said they were told there was no emergency department plan for the coming winter.
It was also told that 169 nursing jobs have not been filled - despite funding being in place for them - while no decisions been made on how to guarantee replacements for nurses who are on maternity leave.
The lunchtime protests will take place at Galway University Hospital on Monday, then Cork University Hospital and Limerick University Hospital on Tuesday.
Spokesperson for the INMO Tony Fitzpatrick said of the protests: "It's simply our members saying enough is enough, that we can't tolerate the level of overcrowding, we can't tolerate the level of understaffing and we can't tolerate the level of risk that now exists for patients and staff within overcrowded emergency departments and wards."