SECURITY has been tightened up after the discovery of a drunken man asleep in a spare bed for six hours in a busy hospital maternity ward.
The man, who was found asleep near pregnant women in Portlaoise Hospital maternity unit, was discovered to be carrying a dead rabbit covered in blood in his coat pocket.
The incident, which happened in recent weeks, sparked a major security alert, after he was discovered by a nurse.
The man who slipped into the unit is believed to have been sleeping on the bed for six hours before he was found by one of the nurses.
A nurse who was doing her founds found him snoring while pregnant patients slept nearby unware of his presence.
The discovery led to security staff and gardai being summoned to the ward.He was taken to the hospital’s A&E department where doctors confirmed he had been drinking.
The man was later discharged and escorted from the hospitla grounds.However, he was later seen climbing back over a wall and when he was found was involved in a row in a public ward.
The incident which left patients and staff shaken led to a review of security and a tightening up of access to the wards.
A spokeswoman for the hospital confirmed that “staff at the Midland Regional Hospital at Portlaoise were alerted to an incident in the maternity department in the early hours of Saturday morning, August16. The incident involved a member of the public, who gained access to the hospital.
‘The gardaí¬ were alerted. A small number of patients were disturbed while sleeping by the incident,which occurred over a short period of time. The hospital apologised to all those patients who witnessed and were disturbed by the incident.“The hospital has reviewed security measures for the entire hospital campus and is addressing the issues identified.”