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Wednesday 7 December 2016

Miss Y review failures leave her solicitor 'dumbfounded'

Eilish O'Regan Health Correspondent

Published 09/06/2015 | 02:30

The HSE, which started the review, headed by senior counsel Eileen Barrington, nearly nine months ago, has insisted there is no need to consult with Miss Y’s solicitor
The HSE, which started the review, headed by senior counsel Eileen Barrington, nearly nine months ago, has insisted there is no need to consult with Miss Y’s solicitor

The failure of the HSE to inform a young woman at the centre of a massive abortion controversy last year that a review of the State's legal strategy in the case is underway has left her lawyers "dumbfounded".

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The young asylum seeker, who claims she was raped in her own country, became the first to seek an abortion under the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act passed in mid-2013.

Dublin solicitor Caoimhe Haughey, who acts for the woman, Miss Y, said she has been unable to get any information from the HSE on the review.

Miss Y came here in March 2014 and found she was pregnant a month later.

Ms Haughey said she has contacted the HSE on two occasions about the review but has not received any response.

In January, the Department of Health directed her to the office of HSE Director General Tony O'Brien.

The HSE, which started the review, headed by senior counsel Eileen Barrington, nearly nine months ago, has insisted there is no need to consult with Miss Y's solicitor.

However, Ms Haughey told the Irish Independent:"At the very least they should have told Miss Y's lawyers there is another review underway.

"It does involve her. The whole reason why any review is taking place is because of what happened to my client.

Transparency

"We need to know who is conducting the review and what are the terms of reference.

"What stage is it at currently? Who has been interviewed? What medical or other records have been disclosed?"

She added: "Dealing with the HSE in terms of transparency has always proved very difficult."

Miss Y sought an abortion under the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act on the grounds of feeling suicidal.

She encountered several agencies during her pregnancy and was eventually judged suicidal when she was 26 weeks' pregnant after appearing before a panel of three doctors convened under the legislation.

The baby was born by Caesarean section at about 26 weeks, on August 6.

The Department of Health was unaware of the court proceedings which were believed to have been initiated at local level.

Miss Y has since been granted asylum.

Irish Independent

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