'I would worry for the kids that are waiting for surgery'
Parents of children with heart defects are worried about long waiting lists and a shortage of nurses.
Mothers have spoken of how their surgeries have been cancelled before their children were due to enter theatre.
Many said there was not enough nurses in ICU in hospitals, at an event hosted by the charity Heart Children Ireland.
Janette O'Riordan (51) from Leopardstown, is a former nurse whose child Samuel (12) had three open heart surgeries, which were delayed twice.
"We were ready to go to theatre, and it was cancelled because there was no ICU nurse to man the bed on the other end. It happened twice," she said.
Trish Purcell's daughter Caitríona (10) was diagnosed with a congenital heart defect when she was born.
The family are from Tinryland, Co Carlow and had to regularly commute to Dublin to receive treatment.
She said: "I would worry for the kids. Thankfully, Caitríona doesn't need any surgeries at the moment, but it's very frightening for any parents that are waiting for surgery."
Mrs Purcell has also experienced last-minute cancellations.