A male nurse has pleaded guilty at Sligo District Court to taping a patient's mouth to keep him quiet.

Bimbo Paden, 39, who is from the Phillipines, said he was working in St John's Hospital in Sligo, caring for five bays of patients with no assistance.

He admitted placing surgical tape over the mouth of 49-year-old Kevin Quinn, from the Ballymote area.

Mr Quinn requires 24-hour care following a brain haemorrhage 13 years ago.

Paden told gardaí he was tending to another patient at the time who appeared to be agitated by Mr Quinn's continued shouting.

In his statement to gardaí, Paden said that in a moment of complete stupidity he put a small piece of surgical tape on Mr Quinn's mouth and took it off when another nurse came to help him.

The court was told that Paden had voluntarily agreed to be suspended from the registry of nurses and there had been a number of investigations into the incident.

Judge Kevin Kilraine said Paden had an excellent work record and "made one bad mistake in his career".

He ordered that inquiry documents be made available to Mr Quinn's family and said they might understand from those that there were mitigating factors for the defence.

He adjourned the hearing to March to allow the family study the documents before the court would decide on sentence.