Decomposing bodies were left on the floor of a mortuary at University Hospital Waterford according to fresh claims from doctors at the hospital.
The new claims were made in a second letter from four pathologists at the hospital which was sent to the South West Hospital Group in March.
It comes after the Taoiseach claimed there was no evidence to back up the original allegations that bodies were being left on trolleys in the hospital because there was a lack of capacity in the mortuary.
This afternoon, Sinn Féin TD for Waterford David Cullinane called for an independent inquiry.
“The letter makes a fresh claim that things had got so bad that some bodies were left to lie on floors in the mortuary,” he said.
“Now anyone that has lost a loved one would be horrified at the prospect that their loved-one’s body would be left lying on the floor of a mortuary because the services and the facilities were simply not put in place.”
The original letter, which came to light at the end of last month, warned that bodies had been left to decompose in hospital corridors, “leading to closed-coffin funerals with relatives unable to view the remains as a result of gaseous decomposition.”
"The trauma imposed on the bereaved is almost unspeakable," it said.
— Kim Buckley (@KiiimBuckley) May 3, 2019
After the Taoiseach used a visit to Waterford to insist that there was no evidence to back up the claims, the Irish Hospital Consultants Association (IHCA) expressed alarm at the Government’s response to the situation.
On Newstalk Breakfast this morning, the Culture Minister Josepha Madigan said the Taoiseach was simply stating a factual position.
“What he said is that the mortuary and the coroners seemed to have a different view to the consultants,” she said.
“That is his view; that is his understanding.
“He said the truth probably lies somewhere in the middles and the main point about this is that the new mortuary would be built.
“I think there are some temporary facilities.”
Planning permission for a new mortuary at Waterford Hospital was granted in 2016.
The Government hopes to open a new facility by 2021.