Wexford General Hospital might not be full repaired for months, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said.
On Wednesday afternoon, a fire broke out in the hospital’s plant room and hundreds of patients were evacuated.
No one was injured but An Taoiseach said the damage to the building is extensive.
“It’s going to be weeks to months before the hospital is back up and running fully,” he said after a visit to the site.
“But that is the objective and I’ve given everyone here the assurance that the Government will do everything humanly possible to support the efforts to get this hospital up and running, full service as soon as it can be done.
“With the best will in the world that’s likely to be weeks to months at this stage.
“On the positive side, maternity services are back up and running already; outpatients will reopen next week and other hospitals in the region, both public and private, are helping out.
“Staff that are normally working here, are working in other hospitals in the region where their patients are.”
Speaking to Lunchtime Live, a man recalled that there was a “horrendous” smell of smoke and staff moved quickly to evacuate their patients.
“The alarms went off and somebody came running down the corridor saying, ‘Grab what you can, grab your phone, keys, whatever’s in your locker, whatever’s in your wardrobe,’” he said.
“That was basically it but it was absolutely incredible to see the way the evacuation was operating.
“Nobody felt in danger at any point - it was just so well done.”