'I slept in this chair last night - but it's not the fault of the nurses and staff'
Dublin pensioner James Coyle (72) was forced to sleep in a chair as he waited in Beaumont Hospital's overcrowded emergency department overnight.
The Dublin man went to the hospital with breathing difficulties at around 10am on Tuesday, and his treatment in the triage unit began in a chair.
Mr Coyle slept in the same chair on Tuesday night, and he was still being treated in it at lunchtime yesterday.
"I have breathing problems," he said - speaking from behind a mask strapped to his face with a thin clear plastic tube that connects it to a tank behind him.
"I slept in this chair last night, but the nurses and staff are being really good. It's not their fault," he added.
As Mr Coyle spoke, a nurse came along with a cheery "hello" and took a plastic capsule from James's lap, twisted the top off it and poured it into a small cylinder inside the mask to help him breathe.
She was kind, courteous and warm to James - but then she had to dash off to another patient.
"I think a lot of the problem is people with cuts and bruises and minor things coming in instead of serious cases," James said.
"That causes a lot of backlog, but I don't know how the Government will solve it."
He added: "Something needs to be done to help the staff and make sure the waiting times are reduced. In the meantime, I suppose I have to be a patient patient."