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Man (42) suing HSE over cancer care dies days before case is heard


(stock photo)

(stock photo)

(stock photo)

A man who was suing the HSE claiming his throat cancer was allowed to spread unidentified and untreated died just days before his case was to come before the High Court.

John Beirne, the court heard yesterday, died at the age of 42 on Monday just days before a court date for the case in which he was suing the health service over the care he received at James Connolly Hospital, Blanchardstown, Dublin.

Mr Justice Kevin Cross yesterday gave permission for Mr Beirne's father Michael to take over the action.

Oisin Quinn SC, for Mr Beirne, informed the court Mr Beirne had passed away on the date. Counsel said the hospital had apologised to Mr Beirne.

The case, he said, was in relation to an alleged failure to be recalled for further investigation.

Counsel said the HSE had been moving the case along expeditiously, with mediation planned in the case for later this week or next week.

It was claimed Mr Beirne, a groundskeeper at Carton House, and of Leixlip Park, Leixlip, Co Kildare, was taken by ambulance to the Blanchardstown Hospital on December 31, 2012, complaining of vomiting and haematemesis.

He underwent a throat investigation called a gastroscopy and multiple biopsies were taken which showed low-grade dysplasia - the presence of abnormal cells within a tissue.

He was discharged on January 2, 2013, with a plan for further assessment of the oesophagus.


On February 12, 2013, he had a further gastroscopy and more biopsies.

It is claimed as there was insufficient pathology to rule out malignancy, it was determined Mr Beirne should undergo a repeat scope or gastroscopy.

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It is alleged he was not scheduled for and did not undergo any further investigation and in particular he did not undergo any further investigation or further gastroscopy which, it is claimed, had been deemed necessary.

In September 2019, following an urgent referral, he was diagnosed as having esophageal cancer.

It is claimed there was a failure to take any adequate measures to protect Mr Beirne from the risk of developing the cancer and a failure to refer him for a gastroscopy.

It is further alleged his cancer was allowed to develop and spread unidentified, unmonitored and untreated until he was diagnosed with esophageal cancer in September 2019.

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