Clinical Director of Beaumont Hospital, Shane O'Neill, has resigned over concerns for psychiatric patients at the hospital's emergency department.

The move comes just days ahead of the opening of the multi-million euro Ashlin Centre psychiatric unit.

The €13m unit, which will serve all of north Dublin, opens at Beaumont Hospital this week.

However, a row over admission to this unit has led to the sudden resignation of the Beaumont's Clinical Director of Medicine Professor Shane O'Neill.

A story in today’s Sunday Business Post revealed the professor resigned on Friday citing significant clinical risk to patients.

His concerns relate to plans to continue to admit some seriously ill psychiatric patients to the new unit via Beaumont’s emergency department, which he said was frequently overcrowded.

He said this ignores patients’ best interests and is entirely inappropriate.

Professor O’Neill was not available for interview today, but the Psychiatric Nurses Association has supported his stand.

There was no one available from the HSE for comment.

A statement from Beaumont Hospital confirmed: "proposals have been made to have out-of-hours and weekend assessments for the new psychiatric unit carried out at the Beaumont Emergency Department.

"The finalisation of these proposals is under active discussion between the HSE and Beaumont with a view to finding a solution which is in the best interests of patients".

The new unit will provide 38 general adult beds and six psychiatry of old age acute admission beds.