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Cork TD Mick Barry slams ‘scandalous’ delay in releasing CUMH incinerated organs report

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The report into the incineration of retained baby's organs at Cork University Maternity Hospital was scheduled to be published in November 2021 but has been delayed for 'legal reasons'.

The report into the incineration of retained baby's organs at Cork University Maternity Hospital was scheduled to be published in November 2021 but has been delayed for 'legal reasons'.

The report into the incineration of retained baby's organs at Cork University Maternity Hospital was scheduled to be published in November 2021 but has been delayed for 'legal reasons'.

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The delay in releasing a report on the Cork University Maternity Hospital's (CUMH) decision to send the organs of dead babies to Belgium for incineration without their parents' consent has been described as ‘scandalous’ by Socialist Party TD Mick Barry.

Deputy Barry has said he will query the delay with Taoiseach Micheal Martin in the Dáil this week after the author of the the State’s 2009 Retained Organs Audit, Michaela Willis, described the delay as  "incredibly unkind", "unprofessional" and showing a "huge lack of respect".

The emerging news of incineration of babies' organs without parental consent at University Maternity Hospital Limerick would also be raised by Deputy Barry, he said, who pledged to ask the Taoiseach whether this practice took place at any other maternity hospital in the State.

The TD pointed out that the South/South West Hospital Group, which is responsible for CUMH, originally said last year that the report into the incineration of the organs of 18 babies was expected to be completed by November 2021.

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Parents affected protested at the gates of CUH last month after a seven-month delay and numerous new missed deadlines.

It is understood that the report is now complete but that ‘legal reasons’ are being cited for the delay in publication. 

 "These parents have been forced by the hospital to endure a horrific experience but now insult is being added to injury by these endless delays in releasing the report,” said Deputy Barry. 

“I want the Taoiseach to comment on the matter and I also intend to question him about the fact that incineration without consent happened in Limerick too.

"We also need to be told when there will be legislative change that would guarantee against such a scandal ever happening again in our hospitals."


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