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Coroner inquest into death of Savita will be 'open and transparent'

The preliminary inquiry is due to begin on 18 January, and is expected to reconvene in April for a week.

Image: Peter Morrison/AP/Press Association Images

THE PRELIMINARY INQUEST into the death of Savita Halappanavar is to begin on Friday 18 January.

Speaking to TheJournal.ie, the coroner for Galway West, Dr Ciaran MacLoughlin, said that the purpose of the preliminary inquiry was to “ensure that all the documents that relate to the treatment of the deceased are available to all the interested parties, including myself.”

Once the 18th of January comes, it’s a lockdown. Any documents that are given are to be used solely for the inquiry and should not be released for any other reason.

He went on to say: “After that, we will agree which of these documents are material to the inquiry at hand and then we will come back sometime in April.”

Up to 40 witnesses are due to be called during the inquest in April, which MacLoughlin believes will take a week. “The findings, just like any inquest, will be made public during this week,” he said.

The idea is that this inquiry, unlike other inquiries, will be open and transparent, with each of us accountable.
Nothing will be in any way obscured or withheld from the general public. For anyone who is in any way connected to the case, this is their chance. If they have a question to ask, this will be the time to ask it.
The whole purpose of this [inquiry] is to inform the public.

Mrs Halappanavar passed away at University College Hospital in Galway in October 2012, days after being denied a termination when she learned she was miscarrying, her family claim.

Read: HIQA announces 12-person team to lead Savita inquiry >

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Paul Hyland

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