Minister for the Environment Alan Kelly has decided to give 23 health and disability groups funding for a year while a review of the decision to cut their funding is examined.

A total of 155 organisations applied for funding under the scheme to support national organisations, and 55 were successful.

However, 26 disability and health organisations that had previously received €1.2m in funding were refused.

There had been growing criticism of the department's decision, which was made before the Cabinet reshuffle.

Some groups said they may face closure.

However, today it emerged that the department has decided to give 23 of the 26 groups funding for a year at the same level as before while a review is under way.

That review will be carried out by the Department of Environment and the Department of Health.

Three organisations will not receive funding as there were problems with their applications. It is understood that two had not made an application and one had not applied by the deadline.