Wednesday 26 October 2016

GSOC commissioner in critical condition after falling onto rocks during Spanish holiday

David Raleigh

Published 16/06/2016 | 20:37

Kieran FitzGerald. Photo: Brian Lawless/PA
Kieran FitzGerald. Photo: Brian Lawless/PA

GARDA Ombudsman Commissioner Kieran Fitzgerald, is in a critical condition in hospital in Spain, after falling off a wall onto rocks while on holiday.

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Mr FitzGerald, a native of Glin, Co Limerick, and a past award winning RTE reporter, was appointed to the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission in December 2011.

He had served as Head of Communications and Research for the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission since 2007.

Last week Mr Fitzgerald was seriously injured while on holiday in Northern Spain where doctors have placed him in a medically-induced coma.

His family are keeping a bedside vigil at his hospital in La Coruna.

It's understood Mr Fitzgerald sailed with friends from Dublin to Galicia in Northern Spain where he was to meet up with his wife Evelyn.

The couple had planned to walk part of the famous Camino de Santiago route.

However on arrival in Spain, Mr Fitzgerald is said to have felt faint before sitting down on a low wall where he lost his balance and fell onto rocks damaging his spine.

He underwent surgery at a hospital in La Coruna, but it's understood complications have arisen with his recovery.

Mr Fitzgerald’s wife and only child, and one of his two sisters, are with him in Spain.

Mr Fitzgerald comes from a well-known family in Glin.

He is the son of retired schoolteacher Kathleen, and the late Pat Fitzgerald, and has two sisters, Louise and Christina.

He is a former producer, reporter, and researcher with RTÉ, having worked on popular television and radio programmes, including The Late Late Show, Prime Time, and Liveline.

He was named News and Current Affairs Journalist of the Year in 1999, and is a former chair of the Dublin Broadcasting Branch of the National Union of Journalists.

He has a Doctorate in Governance from the School of Law at Queens University Belfast, and is a Member of the Executive Committee of the British & Irish Ombudsman Association.

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