Portlaoise hospital group to fight for mortuary chapel

Lynda Kiernan

Reporter:

Lynda Kiernan

Midlands Regional Hospital Portlaoise

Midlands Regional Hospital Portlaoise

Portlaoise hospital faces the loss of its chapel of rest for deceased patients, but objections will be made to the HSE's plan.

The Health Service Executive plans to convert the 'vacant' former Catholic chapel into offices and meeting rooms. Read details here. 

Tommy Timmons is chairman of Portlaoise Hospital Action Committee.

He said the chapel, attached to the old nurses quarters, is still in use as a mortuary "for all religions".

"We will strongly object. This is another way of downgrading the hospital, taking away the chapel of rest. They are doing it bit by bit. This chapel is a mortuary. Where will people go? Not everyone can afford a funeral parlour. Portlaoise would be the only hospital in Ireland without a chapel of rest I'd say," he said.

Mr Timmons said that just a fortnight ago, the committee was told by the General Manager of Midlands Regional Hospital Portlaoise Michael Knowles that the chapel was to be converted into an outer office for kidney dialysis patients.

"He never mentioned this. We are going to object and we have contacted nearly every councillor in Laois about it," Mr Timmons said.