Gardaí have agreed not to send any more State cases to the mortuary in Waterford after serious concerns were raised about the facilities there.

In cases where post mortems are required for criminal investigations in the south east, these will now be conducted at the city morgue in Dublin.

RTÉ News has learned that the change in policy arose following consultations between the State Pathologist's Office and gardaí after concerns were raised in relation to the potential for evidence contamination in Waterford.

Garda Headquarters said this evening it does not comment on operational matters or third party letters.

It is understood the State Pathologist's Office has written to gardaí confirming the change.

Four consultants had stated that dead bodies had been left decomposing on trolleys in the corridors of the hospital mortuary.

Planning permission has been granted for a new mortuary in Waterford and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, who apologised to anyone who felt he did not treat the concerns seriously, said temporary measures are being put in place to deal with the issues in the meantime.

Sinn Féin TD for Waterford, David Cullinane, said: "This is a very serious development. It is a disgrace that it has come to this.

"The Hospital Group, hospital management and the HSE knew about the dreadful conditions at the mortuary since 2004 and yet building works have still not commenced for a new facility.

"The HSE and the Department have very serious questions to answer. They must come before the Oireachtas Health Committee and we need a full, independent inquiry into services at the mortuary."