Queen's visit hits 500 maternity check-ups
One of the maternity hospitals in the Republic of Ireland has had to cancel around 500 appointments due to the major security operation surrounding Queen Elizabeth's visit.
Expectant mothers attending the Rotunda Hospital in Dublin have been warned that if they go into labour tomorrow they will encounter road closures and heavy security due to the VIP wreath-laying ceremony at the Garden of Remembrance.
The measures the busy maternity hospital -- which deals with between 20 to 40 births on any given day -- faces include all staff parking being withdrawn, diverted routes into the hospital, visitor restrictions and the cancellation of around 500 procedures and appointments, ranging from scans to check-ups.
Dr Sam Coulter-Smith, master of the Rotunda Hospital, which is adjacent to Parnell Street, admitted it was a "headache" and was having a major impact on the hospital.
"The area is significantly affected in terms of car parking and traffic coming up to and on the day of the event," he said. "If it has emerged someone is in labour then it has been agreed with gardai that access routes for patients will be provided."
"It is obviously a huge event for the country and it is very important but it does have a big impact on a working maternity hospital."