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Tuesday 12 November 2019

Savita story possibly 'muddled' – reporter

Greg Harkin

AN 'IRISH Times' journalist has defended her reporting of the Savita Halappanavar case despite admitting a sequence the events may have been "muddled".

Journalist Kitty Holland acknowledged that she reported only what she had been told by Savita's husband Praveen, and will await the outcome of the official inquiry.

The newspaper in its page one headline on November 14 said "Woman 'denied a termination' dies in hospital".

Critics of the newspaper's coverage of the tragedy have claimed that there is no evidence a termination would have saved her life, despite the fact that the 'Irish Times' did not allege that it would have.

Hundreds of pro-life campaigners will descend on Dail Eireann today, claiming the story could lead to the legalisation of abortion here.

When she was asked about alleged discrepancies on when the 31-year-old dentist was given antibiotics, Ms Holland told Newstalk radio programme 'Coleman at Large': "All one can surmise is that his (Praveen's) recollection of events – the actual timeline and days – may be a little muddled.

"We only have Praveen and his solicitor's take on what was in or not in the notes ....we're relying all the time on their take on what happened.

"Oh, I'm not satisfied of anything. I'm satisfied of what he told me, but I await as much as anyone else the inquiry and the findings. I can't tell for certain – who knows what will come out in that inquiry?

"They may come back and say she came in with a disease she caught from something outside the hospital before she even arrived in..."

Ms Holland was reported on yesterday saying she stood by her report, saying Praveen Halappanavar is "a credible witness".

Last night his solicitor Gerard O'Donnell told the Irish Independent: "My client wants to know why a request for a termination was refused. "Mr Halappanavar has never claimed in any interview that a termination could have saved his wife's life."

Praveen Halappanavar and his wife's family have appealed for a full public inquiry into her death.

He has also vowed to take the case to the European Court of Human Rights.

Irish Independent

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