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Mayo

Coroner says it is 'an outrage' that Pfizer executive could not attend inquest due to threats

Dr Ellsbury was called to attend the inquest investigating the death of Joseph McGinty (14) of The Valley, Achill Island, Co Mayo.

A CORONER HAS described alleged threats made in relation to a Pfizer executive called to attend an inquest as “an outrage”.

Mayo Coroner Pat O’Connor said it was ‘an outrage in the extreme’ that Pfizer’s Vaccines Medical Director Dr Gillian Ellsbury did not attend the inquest due to ‘keyboard warriors.’

Dr Ellsbury was called to attend the inquest investigating the death of Joseph McGinty (14) of The Valley, Achill Island, Co Mayo.

The teen, who had just started second year, suffered a cardiac arrest and died on the morning of 13 September 2021, 24 days after his first covid 19 Pfizer vaccine.

He collapsed at home and died in an ambulance as he was being transferred to hospital.

He had been losing weight in the months leading up to his death, the inquest heard.

Joseph was vaccinated at the HSE run vaccination centre at Breaffy House Hotel on 20 August 2021. His condition declined rapidly from 27 August, when he began to suffer from fatigue and persistent vomiting.

The inquest was moved from Swinford to Ballina Courthouse to facilitate video link evidence from Dr Ellsbury earlier today.

Barrister for the family Michael O’Connor SC for Lavelle Bourke solicitors on Achill Island told Dr Ellsbury that the McGinty family would distance themselves from any threats but they would obviously prefer she was present in court in person.

“The family are neither pro- nor anti-vaccine they just want to get to the truth,” O’Connor said.

The barrister asked if it was Dr Ellsbury’s evidence that she could not travel to Ireland due to threats on social media. The Coroner, Pat O’Connor, interjected and described the risks as ‘significant.’

“I don’t want to go into too much detail but there were significant risks for Pfizer attending here,” the Coroner said.

The evidence

Michael O’Connor SC noted that in his autopsy, Consultant Pathologist Dr Fadel Bennani found the boy suffered brain swelling with encephalitis and noted that connection to the Pfizer vaccine was a ‘rare possibility’.

“When Dr Bennani looked at this first what he reported was quite different to the eventual conclusion. His comment was brain oedema with encephalitis consistent with viral infection. Is there any test or protocol or series of tests that could have been carried out that could definitively rule in or out the vaccine as a cause of death?” O’Connor SC asked.

“I’m not aware of any test but I am not a pathologist so I don’t think it’s appropriate for me to comment on that,” Dr Ellsbury said.

In his report, Consultant Histopathologist Dr Michael McDermott, from whom a second opinion was sought, gave the final cause of death as profound adrenal pathology consistent with Addison’s Disease.

In his commentary, Dr McDermott noted substantive and chronic adrenal damage but said that to his knowledge any link between these changes and the vaccine is ‘speculative at this point in time.’

The Coroner invited final submissions from all parties on the medical cause of death, the appropriate verdict and recommendations before 11 August and adjourned delivery of the verdict until 21 August.

Author
Louise Roseingrave