The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation has said industrial action is a very strong possibility due to persistent overcrowding at three hospitals in Dublin, Limerick and Louth.

The Executive Council of the INMO are meeting today, to discuss the high numbers of people waiting on trolleys at Beaumont Hospital in Dublin, University Hospital Limerick and Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda.

It was revealed yesterday that an elderly man suffering from cancer spent nearly four days - three days and 16 hours - on a trolley at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital before he got a bed.

Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, INMO industrial relations officer Tony Fitzpatrick, said industrial action may be necessary to address the situation. 

"The executive council are meeting. They have looked at this problem 14 months in a row now the situation has been worse than the month beforehand.

"It's the worst figures on record, there are particular hospitals that are badly effected, Beaumont, Limerick, Drogheda to just name three," he said.

"I think our executive council are going to look to see if its necessary if some form of action is taken at those sites to try and put on the pressure on to have this problem addressed once and for all," Mr Fitzpatrick added.

In a statement the HSE said that a new building at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital will open tomorrow, with eight clinical decision beds, and they say that will immediately remove patients from the emergency department.

They also say that internal processes at the hospital are working efficiently to have the optimum length of stay for medical patients.

The statement said that recruitment of nurses is ongoing with 31 due to be interviewed in the coming weeks.