Over 8,000 people have marched through Navan to protest over plans to close the Emergency Department at Our Lady's Hospital, Navan, Co Meath.

The Health Service Executive proposes to close the department at the hospital within the next 14-15 months subject to the availability of additional capacity.

The emergency department will then become a "Local Injuries Unit."

Organisers claim that 19,000 people use the emergency department every year.

If the facility is downgraded, patients will have to travel to an already overcrowded emergency department at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda.

Sinn Féin TD Peadar Tóibín and chair of the Save Navan Hospital Group, said the HSE and the Government need to urgently rethink their plans to close the emergency department.