The original facility was closed during the pandemic.
Plans for a new visitors' cafe at a midlands hospital are being considered by the HSE.
The previous facility at the Midlands Regional Hospital Portlaoise was closed during the pandemic, with the staff canteen extended to accommodate the space needed for social distancing.
A petition has been launched online to bring the visitors' cafe back on stream, which says the closure has been particularly challenging for those who spend long hours at the hospital supporting their loved ones.
The HSE says following recent refurbishment works at the front entrance, its now working to identify a site on campus to facilitate a new shop and cafe for patients, relatives and visitors.
If you wish to sign the petition, you can do so here.
In a statement to Midlands 103, the HSE says:
"During covid the Hospital had to extend the footprint of the staff canteen to provide for additional space and allowing for social distancing. At that time, the public shop was closed also due to Covid, so the space was utilised for this extension.
Recent refurbishment works on the front entrance has been completed and hospital management is working with HSE Estates to identify a potential location on the campus for a shop and café area for patients, relatives and visitors to the hospital."