Over 8,000 people have held a protest in Navan in Co. Meath against the HSE's plans to close the Emergency Department at the local hospital.
It's proposed that Our Lady's Hospital's emergency department will become a local injuries unit within the next 15 months.
Demonstrators say if the facility is downgraded, patients will have to travel to an already overcrowded emergency department at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda.
Huge crowd of protestors in Navan demonstrating to Save the A and E unit at Our Lady's Hospital in Navan pic.twitter.com/5rrPNr7aEy— LMFM RADIO (@LMFMRADIO) May 17, 2014
"The A&E is a pivotal piece of health infrastructure in the county," said Sinn Féin TD Peadar Toibin, chairperson of the "Save Navan Hospital" campaign.
"It is central to all those different community groups - we need this A&E in the county and we need to make sure that it is kept open."