Friday 23 February 2018

Taoiseach Enda Kenny 'empathises' with parents of baby who died at Cavan General Hospital yesterday

Enda Kenny
Enda Kenny

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has said he empathises with the parents of a baby who died in Cavan General Hospital yesterday.

The Health Service Executive has launched an investigation after the death of a newborn baby at Cavan hospital - the fourth death of a baby in less than three years at one of the country's smaller maternity units.

“I’ve just heard of the tragic news from Cavan of the tragic news of the death of another baby and I think we should empathise with the parents in this case.”

“I don’t want to draw conclusions here because I do not know what happened in the sense of not having the facts and they’re now being investigated by the HSE, but I do think that arising from the HIQA report into Portlaoise, clearly there are implications for maternity services throughout the country.”

The death in Cavan is the fourth death of a baby in less than three years at one of the country's smaller maternity units.

Mr Kenny commended the parents of babies who died at the Portlaoise Hospital for their “courage” in following through and pursuing their right to have the deaths of their babies properly investigated.

“I think it’s absolutely critical that the outcome of the tragedies in Portlaoise, those parents need to be commended for their courage in following this through.”

“The HIQA report is completely independent, completely objective and has set out eight recommendations, all of which have been accepted by Minister Varadkar and the HSE to be implemented.”

“You’ve got to implement the recommendations of the HIQA report which are designed to provide that level of comfort, security, confidence and safety for expectant mothers.”

“You’ve got to have the parent to be the centre of the service being delivered.  In Ireland for a long, long time, you’ve had a facility in respect of nurses and doctors for disciplinary action for instances that might occur over the years but you’ve had none in respect of management and what HIQA have identified here are management issues,” he said.

Meanwhile, Mr Kenny explained the personal journey he travelled in order to vote ‘Yes’ in the upcoming Marriage Equality referendum.

“It’s the evolution of finding people all over the country, in every sector, who are gay or lesbian, finding themselves in the situation where they are denied marriage.”

“Will you give them the right, Irish person to Irish person?” he asked.

“It’s very important to continue to explain to people what [the referendum] actually means.”

Mr Kenny said he met a woman from his own constituency who prayed for six months when her son told her he was gay. However, she herself reached her own journey of acceptance, he said.

He agreed that the outcome of the referendum is likely to be closer than originally thought.

“Yes I think it will be closer than the original polls indicated.”

“I can’t call it. I try to say to people get out and vote – there are two referendums, vote for the two of them.”

“No referendum can be passed unless people vote for it,” he said.

In the same interview, Mr Kenny said he accepted that the introduction of Irish Water could have been handled better.

“I certainly can see that some things could be handled better. But what you’re trying to do is you’re trying to put something in as big as ESB.”

“You can’t have people on boiled water notices for six or ten years... that’s why it was necessary to set up Irish Water as a separate entity to the government.”

Online Editors

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