Tragedy could lead to profound consequences
Published 05/02/2016 | 02:30
Patrick Enright's grief is beyond words.
Four years ago his wife Mary Enright (nee Walsh) was killed in a head-on collision, a crash which also claimed the life of schoolboy Robert Stoker. Adding to his untold grief and that of Mary's parents and siblings, was the fact that Mary was 34 weeks pregnant with a baby girl, later named Mollie, at the time of the accident.
Mr Enright has now brought a constitutional challenge seeking to have Mollie's death recorded as a full road traffic death even though she died before she was born.
Mr Enright is challenging the legal definition of a stillborn child and is suing the State for damages for his unborn baby's death in an action that focusses, once again, on the ambiguous constitutional and legal protections afforded to an expectant woman and her unborn under the Eighth Amendment.
Though Mr Enright's action seeks to have Mollie's death declared for the purposes of our road traffic laws, this action could have profound consequences beyond his personal tragedy.