The Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland has confirmed that some senior officials have travelled to Bahrain on a fact-finding mission.

In a statement, the RCSI said the officials travelled there to assess the situation, in terms of the university it operates there and to support staff and students locally.

The RCSI runs undergraduate programmes in medicine and nursing, as well as postgraduate programmes in healthcare management and leadership.

The RCSI said the visit was planned.

Bahrain has seen weeks of unrest during pro-democracy demonstrations by mostly Shia protestors.

The protestors have been holding rallies against the ruling Sunni dynasty.

Earlier this month, Bahrain's Sunni monarchy, backed by forces from neighbouring Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, cracked down on the Shia-led protests.