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Dublin: 9 °C Tuesday 19 February, 2019
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Australian radio station donates €350k to family of nurse who took her own life

The station apologised to the family of Jacintha Saldanha, whose inquest was held this week.

The family of Jacintha Saldanha with Labour MP Keith Vaz (centre) at the inquest into her death this week.
The family of Jacintha Saldanha with Labour MP Keith Vaz (centre) at the inquest into her death this week.
Image: PA Wire/Press Association Images

AN AUSTRALIAN RADIO station has donated AUS$500,000 (€350k) to the family of a nurse who took her own life after DJs from the station made a hoax call to the hospital where she worked.

An inquest into the death of Jacintha Saldanha this week ruled that her death in December 2012 was a suicide.

Southern Cross Austereo said it wanted to “publicly convey our deepest sympathy and sincere condolences to Ms Saldanha’s family for their loss”.

The station has put the money into a trust fund for Jacintha Saldanha’s family.

“We do not assume, of course, that this donation or any amount of money could relieve the feelings of loss felt by Ms Saldanha’s family but is our hope that it may help them in future,” the radio station said in a statement.

Mel Greig, one of the two DJs who made the prank call to the hospital in which they pretended to be Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip enquiring into the health of Kate Middleton, attended the inquest and said she was “truly sorry”.

Jacintha Saldanha inquest Mel Greig outside the inquest Source: Steve Parsons/PA Wire

Southern Cross Austereo said it had fully co-operated with the inquest and had “always accepted full responsibility for the making of the call and its broadcast”.

The station also noted that the coroner said there was “no causation as a matter of law between the hoax call and any subsequent voluntary action by Ms Saldanha” and that her death was not reasonably forseeable.

Speaking after the inquest, Saldanha’s family said their lives had been changed forever by the “despicable and cruel actions” of the hoax call.

The family accepted the verdict and is taking advice on the possibility of legal action.

Read: Australian DJ involved in prank call to Kate’s hospital back on air > 

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