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Dublin: 14 °C Thursday 24 May, 2018

TDs and Senators to question chief medical officer on Portlaoise baby deaths

Tony Holohan is to appear before the committee this morning. He published a review of the situation last month.

Tony Holohan
Tony Holohan
Image: Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland

THE CHIEF MEDICAL Officer is to be questioned by an Oireachtas Committee over the deaths of babies at a Portlaoise hospital.

Dr Tony Holohan is due to appear before the Joint Committee on Health and Children at Leinster House this morning at 9.45am.


It is expected that Holohan will be questioned on his recent report into deaths of babies at Portlaoise Hospital.

The report came after RTÉ’s Prime Time show broadcast an investigation into the deaths of four newborn babies over six years at the hospital’s maternity unit.


In the Dáil, Health Minister Dr James Reilly had promised that the concerns raised in relation to the deaths “will be addressed in full”.

Health watchdog HIQA is to review the deaths of the babies, with Reilly promising “we will get all the answers”.

The HSE apologised for the failings in the care and outcomes experienced by the families whose babies died after their births at the hospital.

It also said in a statement that it has appointed a new management team at Portlaoise Hospital on an interim basis.

The new team consists of Michael Knowles who is currently General Manager in Naas Hospital and Angela Dunne, currently the Assistant Director of the Coombe Women and Infant University Hospital.

Dr Holohan said following the publishing of his report that the hospital’s maternity services cannot be regarded as “safe and sustainable” in its current form.

It was highlighted in the report that families were treated in a poor and at times appalling manner with limited respect, kindness, courtesy and consideration at the hospital.

Read: Death of another baby at Portlaoise being investigated>

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