The mother of a child who has had his scheduled heart surgery cancelled for the eighth time has pleaded with Health Minister Simon Harris to help her.
Seven-year-old Tommy Kinsella from Wexford was born with a congenital heart defect, and was waiting on mitral valve repair/replacement surgery at Crumlin Children's Hospital in Dublin.
His mother, Noirin, told Newstalk Breakfast they have been in and out of hospital several times.
"Three times we were in Wexford General [Hospital] over Christmas and from when we went in, the main aim was to get him back right and get him out of there for fear of infection.
"Even a flu on a child that has an underlying illness can be serious, serious business.
"So they got him out twice on the day that he was presented each time, and then had to be admitted one of the times further for constant monitoring for 24 hours".
She said they were given a new reason for his procedure being canceled at Crumlin Children's Hospital.
"This time it was that an emergency had come in... However the big issue is because the staffing issue up there.
"They should be able to handle their own cases that are planned, and handle an emergency that would come in as well.
"We've had cancellations due to bed shortages and emergencies as well on more than just one occasion - and it's just because there's no staff.
"The cardiothoracic surgical team in the whole of Ireland, actually, is absolutely minute.
"The staff in Crumlin are stretched to the absolute limits and unfortunately there's nothing they can do about it.
"Tommy has his own specific nurse up there and she's as devastated as we are every single time.
"But unfortunately due to lack of funding there's nothing they they can do about it."
"We need to go bigger and we need to speak to Mr Harris and his comrades that we all voted in and see can they actually do something about it and maybe keep some of the promises that were made on our front doors not so long ago".
Noirin said Tommy was "devastated" when he heard the surgery was cancelled again.
"We've been building him up since November for this surgery.
"He's so young and obviously doesn't understand massively what's going to happen.
"We've been looking at the bright side of the thing, and constantly reminding him of all the things that he will be able to return to - swimming, football and even the simple things that most children hate like going back to school".
Asked what she would say to Minister Harris and the Government, she said: "I want them to please help my child, please help all children like my child around Ireland - I know he's not the only one.
"I want them to help the staff in the hospitals like Crumlin that have been so good to us and enable them to actually do their jobs to their full potential - because they can't do that at the minute with the lack of money".
She says Tommy's next planned surgery date is next Wednesday.