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‘Concerns will be addressed in full’: Emotional Reilly says baby deaths are ‘disturbing’

The Minister for Health appeared close to tears in the Dáil earlier.
Feb 5th 2014, 11:40 PM 13,875 31

Updated 11.40pm


A VISIBLY EMOTIONAL James Reilly promised that concerns raised in relation to the deaths of four babies at Portlaoise Hospital in recent years “will be addressed in full” during a Dáil debate earlier.

The Minister for Health was responding to a Topical Issue raised by several TDs who met Mark and Roisin Molloy, who lost their son Mark 22 minutes after he was born in January 2012.

It took a jury just five minutes to rule it as a case of medical misadventure. His case was one of four that featured on a Prime Time programme broadcast last week that found issues surrounding baby deaths and the level of care at Portlaoise Hospital in recent years.

Speaking to TDs, Reilly said that was “very disturbing” the way the hospital dealt with patients’ families and said this had to change. He thanked the Molloys and other parents for “the time you gave me to tell your story and your concerns”.

“They will be addressed, and they will be addressed in full,” the visibly emotional Minister concluded.

Among those who raised the issue were the Reform Alliance deputy Lucinda Creighton who suggested the cases may highlight that Ireland is not one of the safest places in the world to have a baby. Fine Gael chairman and local TD Charlie Flanagan called for a review of staffing levels at the hospital.

Another TD who raised the issue, Reform Alliance’s Denis Naughten, was not impressed by Reilly’s brief, time-limited response:

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Read: ‘We will get all the answers’ – Reilly says HIQA will review death of babies in Portlaoise

Taoiseach: Independent report into baby deaths would only happen after HSE inquiry

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Hugh O'Connell

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