Wednesday 21 February 2018

Maternity ward thieves strike again as mother's purse stolen

Catherine Carmody with baby Max
Catherine Carmody with baby Max

Kathryn Hayes

A SECOND woman has been robbed while in labour at one of the country's busiest maternity hospitals.

Catherine Carmody claims she went into shock and her labour was delayed after she discovered her purse was stolen while she was walking the corridors of the hospital to help speed up the delivery.

Ms Carmody, from Patrickswell, Co Limerick, is the second woman to go public after having property stolen at the University Maternity Hospital in Limerick in recent weeks.

Her purse, with €46 inside, was stolen on August 15; while Jill Leonard, an American woman living in Ennis, Co Clare, had a smartphone and wallet stolen when she was giving birth in the hospital.

In an interview with the 'Limerick Leader' newspaper, Ms Carmody claimed she was so shocked after discovering her wallet had been stolen her labour stopped and her son wasn't born for two more days.

"I was in labour, and was told to go for a walk to help speed things up.

"But when I returned my purse had been stolen and they had gone through all my personal things," she said.

Ms Carmody's wallet was later recovered in a toilet but the cash had gone.

"The doctor told me and I went into shock. The labour stopped and I did not have Max until Saturday – and this happened on the Thursday," she explained.

"I was told that this is an ongoing problem at the hospital. I spoke to the gardai but I have heard nothing back and it appears that nothing is being done about this problem," she added.

"We should have been warned in advance."

An HSE spokesman said: "While these are two robberies too many, they don't constitute an ongoing problem.

"There are warning signs in place throughout the hospital but we are reviewing them currently with a view to providing more.

"Ms Carmody's purse was subsequently found with all cards etc still in place but the €46 was missing.

"People are advised not to bring valuables into the hospital or to send them home and the giving of this advice is being addressed currently at all staff meetings to ensure that it's happening. It is most regrettable that Ms Carmody was not advised in this manner."

Irish Independent

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