An organisation which represents people who have an inherited genetic condition says it is very disturbing that tests carried out at a national research centre in Galway may be unreliable and inaccurate.

The patients were all seen at the National Diagnostic Centre in Galway, where concerns have been raised about the reliability of the tests for an inherited condition known as Fragile X Syndrome. Testing at the centre has now been suspended.

Kathy Hayes of the Irish Fragile X Society said being given the wrong result would have serious implications.

The syndrome is one of the most common inherited causes of mental impairment and is second only to Down Syndrome as a cause of intellectual disability.

It is believed to affect around one in every 3,500 males and one in every 5,000 to 6,000 females worldwide.

In Ireland, tests for the condition have been carried out at the centre in Galway and at Crumlin Hospital in Dublin.

Those affected are now being invited to take fresh tests at Crumlin Hospital. A helpline has been established at 091-494500.