It's emerged victims of rape in Dublin are often being forced to travel long distances for clinical examinations in the wake of an attack.
The revelation comes following the alleged assault of a woman in the city on Friday.
After reporting the ordeal to Gardai, she had to travel to the Midland Regional Hospital's Sexual Assault Treatment Unit in Mullingar instead of being seen at the Rotunda's SATU.
It's understood shortages of specialised staff caused the temporary closure of the unit on Saturday, forcing the woman to travel to Mullingar which was the next nearest SATU.
CEO of the Dublin Rape Crisis Network, Noeleen Blackwell, says she was not shocked to learn of the case.
"We've started keeping a record of when this happens, to try and get a handle on how serious a problem it is. It certainly happened a dozen times in January."
Noeleen warns how forcing a victim to travel long distances to collect evidence of a rape, can compound the distress they're already going through.
"They may have to travel and wait for hours to have the evidence taken. And during that time they may not be able to do the smallest things. They won't be able to wash and they may not be able to eat or drink in case that contaminates evidence."