'Down the years, facilities have been eroded'
The decision to downgrade Portlaoise Hospital's A&E service has been met with anger. Chairman of Portlaoise Municipal District Jerry Lodge said: "That hospital is under-resourced, under-funded and unappreciated. People in the HSE often talk of centres of excellence, however, why has Portlaoise never been looked at as a possible centre of excellence?
"Down the years, the facilities here have been steadily chipped away because of decisions taken higher up. Now we're losing our services to Dublin hospitals ... this is another nail in the coffin for Portlaoise."
Mr Lodge added: "I'm going to sit down with members of the hospital action committee ... to see what the best way forward is, because Portlaoise needs to show how it is reacting."
He added: To be honest, I am very angry."