The Intensive Care Unit at University College Galway hospital is to be re-located within the hospital. The announcement was made by the Western Health Board after the discovery of a fungus in the unit. The hospital authorities have stressed that the airborne fungus, known as the Aspergillus Organism, is not the "super bug" which has been detected in other hospitals recently.

A spokeswoman said the seven-bed unit was being temporarily re-located to another part of the hospital as the organism could pose "some risks" to patients who are already in a vulnerable condition. The hospital says facilities in the re-located unit will be limited and the move may result in some patients having their admissions re-scheduled. It stressed that all urgent emergency care services will continue to be provided.

The 550 bed hospital is currently in the middle of an £80 million reconstruction programme. A Health Board spokeswoman said the discovery of the fungus could possibly be associated with the disturbance caused by the building work. A new Intensive Care Unit will be opened at the hospital in early September.