Sunday 28 December 2014

Widower welcomes AG's decision to order inquest into wife's death

Greg Harkin

Published 16/01/2014 | 02:30

Dhara Kivlehan inquest...BEST QUALITY AVAILABLE 
Undated family handout photo of Dhara and Michael Kivlehan. Mrs Kivlehan's family has been awarded almost one million euro in damages from health chiefs. Dhara, 28, died from multi-organ failure in Belfast's Royal Victoria Hospital in September 2010. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday December 3, 2013. She had been airlifted from Sligo General Hospital after suffering from a severe variant of pre-eclampsia called Hellp (Haemolysis, Elevated Liver Enzymes and Low Platelets). Her death and maternity care has drawn parallels with that of Indian dentist Savita Halappanavar who died in hospital in Galway last October after suffering a miscarriage and blood poisoning. See PA story COURTS Mother Ireland. Photo credit should read: Family handout/PA Wire
NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder....A
Dhara and Michael Kivlehan.

A GRIEVING husband says he feels "relieved and vindicated" after the Attorney General ordered an inquest into the death of his wife who died days after giving birth.

Indian-born Dhara Kivlehan (29) died at a Belfast hospital in September 2010, eight days after giving birth to son Dior at Sligo Regional Hospital.

A request by the family for an inquest in Sligo was initially refused by local coroner Desmond Moran.

Belfast coroner John Lecky also initially refused to hold an inquest north of the Border but changed his mind after reviewing medical evidence submitted by solicitor Roger Murray, acting for widower Kevin Kivlehan (33) and Dior, aged three.

Mr Lecky held a preliminary hearing but warned the family he could not compel witnesses from Sligo to appear.

The family, however, has been told by Attorney General Maire Whelan that she asked for an inquest in the Republic.

Sligo coroner Desmond Moran has now written to the family to confirm this.

In December the HSE agreed to pay Dior and his dad €800,000 in damages and "unreservedly" apologised to them. The agreement was reached without a hearing in the High Court.

Mr Kivlehan, of Dromahair, Co Leitrim, has been working as a full-time father to his son since the death of his wife, a fashion designer.

"Kevin and the two families have always wanted an inquest in the Republic of Ireland and they say they feel both relieved and vindicated by the decision to now hold an inquest here," said solicitor Mr Murray.

A date for the hearing has not yet been fixed.

Irish Independent

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