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'Heartbroken' family of Dhara Kivlehan call for inquest

The HSE agreed a settlement of €790,000 in court today.

Dhara and Michael Kivlehan
Dhara and Michael Kivlehan
Image: Family handout/PA Wire/Press Association Images

THE HSE AGREED a settlement of €790,000 with the family of Dhara Kivlehan who passed away after giving birth at Sligo General Hospital in September 2010.

The 28-year-old died from multi-organ failure at Belfast’s Royal Victoria Hospital. She had been airlifted from Sligo after suffering a severe variant of pre-eclampsia called Hellp (Haemolysis, Elevated Liver Enzymes and Low Platelets).

Her husband, Michael Kivlehan, also took a case against the HSE and was in court today to hear the organisation’s apology. According to RTÉ News, a separate undisclosed sum was awarded to him.

Speaking outside court, he thanked his legal team for their hard work but noted that the “battle for justice continues”.

“Three years on, we still wait an inquest. We are heartbroken that our calls for an inquest in this country have to date been declined by the authorities.

“Many unanswered questions need to be addressed. And the only forum to establish the truth is a full inquest in this jurisdiction. Dhara’s memory deserves this at least. And an inquest is the least my family deserves,” he concluded.

An inquest is due to be held in Northern Ireland but witnesses cannot be compelled to attend. The family insist it should happen in this jurisdiction.


Michel Kivlehan and his solicitor Damien Tansey (right) outside of court today. (Niall Carson/PA Wire/Press Association Images)

The court heard that Dhara was admitted to the Sligo hospital on 20 September ahead of the birth of her first child, Dior.

After giving birth, she was treated in the hospital for a day and a half. Earlier blood tests, however, were not communicated which would have shown abnormal liver and kidney function.

This is the third case in a week where the HSE has agreed a settlement with a family following a lengthy court battle.

Read: Parents of Dylan Gaffney Hayes release statement about €8.5m HSE settlement

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