President McAleese has convened a meeting of the Council of State for next Tuesday to discuss the Health Amendment 2 Bill, which was presented last week by the Health Minister Mary Harney.

Under the bill, elderly people will be forced to pay 80% of their state pensions to the cost of public nursing homes.

The imminent body that will gather at Áras an Uachtaráin includes the Taoiseach, the Tánaiste and the Chief Justice, as well as people who have held those positions in the past.

It will also include a select group appointed to the council by Mrs McAleese three weeks ago.

The Council has only been called to meet on three other occasions during the presidency of Mrs McAleese.