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Family claim dad's death 'covered up'

THE family of a man who died in Tallaght Hospital after becoming increasingly dehydrated believe the circumstances of his death have been covered up.

Peter Acton (61), from St John's Grove in Clondalkin, died on October 3, 2005, after he went into renal failure having been deprived of fluids for five hours despite being diagnosed with dehydration on admission.

Mr Acton became so desperate for water that he begged his wife, Lydia, to take him home because he "did not want to die" in hospital.

At the conclusion of the inquest into his death at Dublin Coroner's Court yesterday, Tallaght Hospital apologised to the family and admitted negligence.

However, his son-in-law John Burke says the family believe the death was covered up.


"We have little doubt that they have covered up Peter's death because of the nature of his death and we certainly have not got justice today," he said.

Mr Acton was admitted to hospital suffering from double pneumonia with vomiting and dehydration on October 1, 2005.

He was nil-by-mouth and on an intravenous drip. However when this failed the next afternoon, it was five hours before a doctor replaced it.

Tallaght Hospital failed to report Mr Acton's death to the coroner and no post-mortem was carried out. The wrong cause of death was given on his death certificate.

The Dublin coroner, Dr Brian Farrell, agreed to hold the inquest after a seven-year campaign by his family.

Outside the court, Mr Burke said that the family will take legal advice on the outcome of the inquest.

"How many more reportable deaths are out there that haven't been reported?" he said.