Inquest into unnecessary death of Dhara Kivlehan must call all relevant witnesses for justice to be served

(Thursday 17 July 2014) The Association for the Improvement in the Maternity Services (AIMS) Ireland fully supports Dhara Kivlehan’s widower, Michael Kivlehan, in his criticisms of the Irish inquest into his wife’s death. AIMS Ireland pointed out that the coroner’s refusal yesterday to call all the necessary and relevant medical witnesses is inexplicable given that the Attorney General wrote to Belfast coroner Dr John Leckey requesting that the inquest he was conducting there be held south of the border in order to be able to compel medical witnesses resident here to attend.

AIMS Ireland spokesperson, co-chair Jene Kelly said, “The inquest was relocated at the request of the Irish Attorney General so that the 24 witnesses recommended by Belfast coroner Dr John Leckey could be legally compelled to attend. Why now are only a quarter of that number being considered to give evidence by Leitrim coroner Eamon McGowan? Only two of the 19 members of medical staff from Sligo involved in the terrible failings of care that led to Dhara Kivlehan’s unnecessary death are on the witness list. This is unacceptable.”

She continued, “We’ve seen time and time again the Irish justice system fail the families of migrant women who were already so dreadfully failed by the Irish maternity services. Bimbo Onunaga, Savita Halappanavar, and now Dhara Kivlehan – all women who thought they would be safe in the Irish system, raising their children here, and failed so terribly by it. This can’t be allowed to continue. Justice must be served for Dhara Kivlehan and her family.”


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