HSE apologises and pays €4.5 million to Emyvale boy born at Cavan General

Jun 24, 2020 13:06 By News Northern Sound
HSE apologises and pays €4.5 million to Emyvale boy born at Cavan General HSE apologises and pays €4.5 million to Emyvale boy born at Cavan General
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The HSE has apologised to and made a €4.6m interim payment to a boy who brought a High Court medical negligence claim over the circumstances of his birth at Cavan General Hospital.

Tadhg James McKenna, who has cerebral palsy and requires constant care had sued the HSE for alleged negligence and breach of duty of care following during the course of his delivery on August 31, 2017.

Liability had previously been conceded in relation to breach of duty but causation was at issue.


That aspect of the claim was due to be heard by the High Court later this year, however following out of court talks the matter was resolved.

As part of the settlement an apology was read before the High Court today where Cavan General Hospital and the HSE "unreservedly apologised for the failings in care that caused the injuries sustained by Tadhg at birth, and the consequential upset suffered" by the McKenna family.

The statement added that the hospital and the HSE understood "that neither this apology, nor the financial compensation granted by the court could negate the continuing distress and upset" endured by the McKennas "on a daily basis." 


The court heard that the boy of Sruth An Mhuillan, Emyvale, Co Monaghan, who had sued through his mother Emma Louise McKenna, suffers with seizures, respiratory attacks, fevers and requires constant medical care and monitoring.

His counsel Jerry Healy SC, appearing with Jonathan Kilfeather SC instructed by solicitor Barry Healy, said the family was happy to accept what was a good offer from the HSE.

As well as the apology the HSE agreed that an interim payment of €4.6m should be made to provide for Tadgh's care. The boy's case will return before the court in five years time.


Counsel said that the family view is that every day was a battle for survival for the boy, who had suffered very severe injuries. Counsel added that the McKennas are dedicated to Tadgh.

Counsel said Tadgh's father Damien spends pretty much 24 hours a day with the child and the family had also been inspired by the fact that Tadgh's younger sibling had formed a very strong bond with him. 

The compromise of the proceedings was welcomed by Mr Justice Kevin Cross, who after approving the award praised the McKenna family for the ongoing care they have given the boy. The judge adjourned the matter to a date in June 2025.


In his action against the HSE it was claimed that Tadhg was born suffering from severe asphyxia and had to be resuscitated.

It was claimed the mother’s labour was allowed to continue for over 16 hours and there was an alleged failure to appropriately monitor the mother during labour and delivery.

It is further claimed there was an alleged failure to monitor the fetal heart rate.


In addition Tadhg had also sought exemplary or aggravated damages over the alleged involvement by Dr Aamir Iqbal Malik, who had been the subject of a disciplinary investigation in the UK in the boy's birth.

Dr Malik was suspended from the medical register in Ireland by the High Court in May, pending further order.

It was also claimed that Dr Malik had neither the professional capacity not the competence to provide such care either at all or without appropriate supervision to the boy.

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