High Court

  • A solicitor has urged the Minister for Health to bring in the duty of candour for all medical negligence cases, after his 14-year-old client settled an action over the circumstances of his birth at Sligo General Hospital for €5 million.

     In the High Court case, Mr Justice Kevin Cross praised the parents of Conor Maxwell, who has cerebral palsy, for the care they have given their son and said he hoped the settlement would help him “as far as money can” in the future.

     According to the Irish Times, the court heard the settlement was a result of mediation between the sides.

     Conor from Carrickmackeegan, Ballinamore, Co Leitrim, had - through his mother Yvonne Maxwell  -sued the HSE over the circumstances of his birth in Sligo on August 13th, 2003.

    The court heard Ms Maxwell was admitted to Sligo General Hospital in labour two weeks before her due date.

    It was claimed the management of her labour was incompetent, and as a result, the baby was exposed to significant hypoxia-ischaemia.

    When Conor was born he required resuscitation, and in the hours after his birth, he developed severe breathing difficulties and suffered seizures.


    In a statement after the proceedings, his solicitor David O’Malley called on Minister for Health Simon Harris to immediately bring in a duty of candour for all medical negligence claims.


    Approving the settlement Mr Justice Cross commended Ms Maxwell and Conor’s father,Jason Kellett, for the care their son had received and wished the family all the best for the future.




  • A Clare Island fisherman has launched High Court proceedings aimed at stopping the laying of fibre optic cable off the Mayo coast, as part of a multi-million international communication project.

    James O’Toole has brought a legal challenge against the granting of a licence to the Irish leg of the project which will see a Trans-Atlantic subsea cable system connect Northern Europe and the US.

    The Irish branch of the cable system is called "America Europe Connect 2" and is owned by a consortium of IT companies including Facebook and Google.

    The consortium is a notice party to the proceedings against the Minister of State at the Department of Planning and Local Government which granted a foreshore licence earlier this year.

    A Trans-Atlantic fibre optic cable extending from the US to Denmark, with spurs to Ireland and Norway, is under construction. The planned route for the Irish spur includes a landfall at Old Head on the southern side of Clew Bay, over three kms from Louisburgh.

    A High Court judge yesterday entered the case to the fast track Commercial Court where Clare island fisherman, James O’Toole, is challenging the granting of a foreshore licence to bring the fibre optic cable ashore at Old Head.

    James Devlin - senior counsel for Mr O’Toole - told the court his client will also be applying to the High Court In the next few days for a stay on any work being carried out, pending a court determination on the legal challenge.

    The hearing on whether a stay should be granted until the legal challenge is determined will be decided later this week.




  • The Roscommon family which was involved in a high-profile eviction last year has been told it has a month to leave it's home.


    The High Court has ordered the McGanns to vacate their Strokestown property by November 12th, after an action taken by KBC Bank.


    They were evicted last December, but days later a security team was forced to leave the property after violent incidents.


    The McGanns have lived there since then, and intend to appeal today's decision in the Court of Appeal.

  • A Mayo girl with cerebral palsy has secured a €10 million lump sum payment under a final settlement of her action against the HSE over the circumstances of her birth at Mayo General Hospital.

    The payment increases to €12.2m the total amount paid to Rachel Gallagher, now aged 11, of Straide, Foxford.

    Through her mother, Rachel sued the HSE over the circumstances of her birth on September 28th, 2006.

    Denis McCullough, Senior Counsel  for the family, said her parents wanted to finish the legal process with a lump sum payment because they, and Rachel, found the process of undergoing medical examinations and assessments before a number of court appearances was very difficult.

    Approving the settlement, the President of the High Court, Mr Justice Peter Kelly, said this would have been Rachel’s third time in court.

    He said that, before coming to court, she had to go through “a battery of tests and assessments” each time, creating a lot of stress for herself and her family.

    The court heard that Rachel needs one-to-one care because she is at risk of falling but is in fifth class at school and it is hoped she will go on to secondary school and university.

    Counsel said €10 million was reasonable and her parents are satisfied it is a fair and reasonable figure.

    The judge said the settlement was a good one and will provide for Rachel for her life and he would approve it. Through her mother, Ciara Hynes, Rachel sued the HSE over the circumstances of her birth on September 28, 2006.

    Ms Hynes was admitted to Mayo General on September 27, 2006 and the next morning they started to induce the birth. It was claimed there was a failure to properly manage and monitor the labour, delivery and birth of the baby.

    The court heard negligence was admitted in the case.





  • The first of several High Court actions over substandard audiology services for children in the west of Ireland has been settled. 

    The court approved a €450,000 settlement in the case of a 13-year-old boy who has a lifelong impairment because of inadequate treatment for hearing loss. 

    Callan Molloy, from Ballinderreen, Kilcolgan, Co Galway, did not have his hearing loss properly treated for the first eight years of his life.

    The Health Service Executive has previously apologised to more than 100 families for failings in audiology services after a review of a service provided by one audiologist from 2011 to 2015.

     The issue was uncovered by an RTÉ Investigates report in 2018.

  • A girl with cerebral palsy would probably not have suffered any, or any severe, brain injury if she had been delivered ten minutes earlier at University Hospital Galway, it was claimed in the High Court yesterday.

    Today’s Irish Independent reports that Faye Walsh, 2who is not seven, has through her mother Martina of Letterfrack in Co Galway, sued the HSE and two consultant obstetricians alleging negligence and breach of agreement in relation to the management and circumstances of her birth at University Hospital Galway on August 15th 2011.

    The defendants deny the claims against them in proceedings before Mr Justice David Keane.

    The case is expected to last a number of weeks.


  • The High Court has approved a 10.5 million euro settlement for a 12-year-old boy who suffered a severe brain injury at birth.


    Sam Forde was delivered by emergency C-section at Sligo General Hospital on August 20th 2006 and has since been diagnosed with cerebral palsy.


    His parents Deborah and Des of Glenview Park, Grange, Co. Sligo sued the HSE on his behalf and the case was settled with no admission of liability.





  • The HSE and a Kilkenny hospital have apologised in the High Court to the family of a Mayo woman, who died less than 3 hours after giving birth to her second child.

    Tracey Campbell-Fitzpatrick, a native of Knock who lived in Carlow, died in the early hours of Easter Monday 2016 after suffering a massive postpartum haemorrhage within minutes of the birth of her son Max at St Luke's General Hospital in Kilkenny.

    Tracey's husband Bernard Fitzpatrick of Nurney, Co Carlow had, on behalf of the family, sued the HSE.

    They claimed she bled to death due to lack of effective intervention.

    She suffered cardiac arrest and subsequently died on March 28th 2016.

    In a letter read to the court yesterday, as her husband and family settled their action over her death, the HSE and the hospital gave an unreserved apology for the "failings in care" afforded to the young mother.

    It extended deepest sympathy to the family on behalf of hospital staff.

    Mr Justice Kevin Cross was told liability was admitted in the case when it went to mediation.

    Outside the court, Tracey's parents Pauline and James Campbell from Knock addressed the media.

    James said his daughter was a fantastic mother, wife, daughter and sister, and her death was unnecessary.

    He said the family had been put through hell for the past 5years in their search for the truth, and said he hopes the HSE has learnt from the failings in Tracey's care to ensure greater patient safety in the Irish maternity services for all expectant mothers.

    Approving the settlement, Mr Justice Cross offered his sympathy to the Campbell and Fitzpatrick families on their loss.



  • The HSE has made a € 5m settlement to the family of a boy with cerebral palsy in a case taken over the handling of his birth at Sligo General Hospital.

    The case, which was settled without an admission of liability, was taken by his mother Lisa Carpenter from Coolaney, Co. Sligo.

    Kyle Carpenter was born three weeks early on May 3rd 2009.

    His mother Lisa went to hospital two days beforehand complaining of stomach pain but she was reassured everything was normal.

    The pain continued after she went home but she experienced no pain when she woke up on May 3rd and couldn't feel any movement.

    She was advised to go back to hospital and a CTG scan taken at 1.30 gave cause for concern.

    Despite that, she claimed a decision to deliver the baby wasn't made for another hour and Kyle required resuscitation and intubation when he was eventually delivered at 3.37.

    He has since been diagnosed with cerebral palsy.

    The HSE contested liability and the case was due to go to a full hearing before it was settled out of court today with no admission of liability.

    In approving the € 5m settlement, Mr. J Kevin Cross described the case as "complex" and one, he said, that would have had an uncertain outcome for the family had it gone to a full hearing.


  • Injunction proceedings by Dawn Meats and Liffey Meats against a number of named and unnamed protesters have been struck out.

    The request to strike out was made by lawyers for the meat companies at the High Court this morning.

    Lawyers for Dawn Meats and Liffey Meats asked the court to strike out the proceedings, which were aimed at preventing blockades at a number of meat processing plants around the country.

    Earlier this week, Dawn Meats had been granted leave of the High Court to bring a number of protesters before the court for alleged breach of court orders.

    However when the case was called this morning, the court heard that some talks had taken place and the case could be struck out.

    Meanwhile, farmers protesting outside Dawn Meats in Ballyhaunis intend to stay put, ahead of the resumption of talks on the beef crisis next Monday.

    The Agriculture Minister announced yesterday that he will facilitate the talks, involving the same stakeholders as the last round of talks - however, the retailers will not be present on Monday.

  • The general manager of a Sligo hotel has secured a temporary High Court injunction, preventing what he claims is a flawed disciplinary hearing against him from proceeding.

    The injunction was secured by Fergal Ryan, general manager of the Clayton Hotel in Sligo, against his employer Dalata Hotel Group Plc

    Issues had arisen over the testimony of two employees at the Sligo hotel who were called as witnesses for the company.

    Senior counsel Patrick O'Reilly, acting for Fergal Ryan, told the High Court that the disciplinary hearing was flawed to the degree that it was now "doomed".

    Mr Ryan, who has worked in the hotel industry for 28 years, said disciplinary proceedings were started against him earlier this year after he declined offers of money from his employer to leave this job.

    Mr Ryan's solicitor had asked that the disciplinary process be halted, but that was refused, resulting in the injunction application.

    Ms Justice Theresa Pilkington, granting the injunction, said she was satisfied a serious issue that requires adjudication by the court has been raised, and returned the matter to next week.

  • Mayo University Hospital has apologised in the High Court for the standard of care provided to a woman who allegedly suffered a delay in the diagnosis of her lung cancer.

    Mother of five and grandmother Marie McDonnell from Castlebar died in January of this year.

    The Irish Independent reports that, in a letter read to the court, the hospital unreservedly apologised to her husband for the standard of care delivered  to her when she had an x-ray at the hospital in July 2017.

    General manager of the hospital Catherine Donohue said “This was not the standard of care that our hospital believed was appropriate,’.

    Before she died, Mrs McDonnell, along with her husband Anthony, of Riverdale Court, Knockthomas, Castlebar had sued the HSE over the care she received at Mayo University Hospital in 2017.

    Yesterday, Mr McDonnell settled the action against the HSE on confidential terms.

    The court heard that Mrs McDonnell had a chest x-ray on July 17,2017 with a repeat x-ray in six to eight weeks recommended.

    It was claimed there was an a failure to identify appearances on the x-ray which, it is claimed, were highly suspicious of bronchial carcinoma.

    It was further claimed there was a failure to identify a mass lesion present and a failure to refer Mrs McDonnell for a CT scan.

    Mrs McDonnell, it was further alleged, was not brought back for a repeat x-ray as recommended.

    When she had a chest x-ray 15 months later,in October 2018, a lesion was detected which had the appearance of an evolving bronchogenic carcinoma.

    It was claimed that Mrs McDonnell suffered a lost opportunity to be considered for feasibility of surgery.

    She also allegedly lost the opportunity to  have the suspicious lung mass evaluated in July 2017 and allegedly suffered a delay in diagnosis.

    The claims were denied.

    Mr Justice Kevin Cross approved the settlement.


  • Former solicitor Michael Lynn is due to be extradited from Brazil next week.

    His counsel Michael O’Higgins told the High Court yesterday that the Crossmolina native expects to be extradited back to Ireland on February 28.

    He said Mr Lynn’s lawyers were informed late on Tuesday night that the extradition is set to take place.

    Michael Lynn is looking for a declaration from the High Court that his time in a Brazilian prison will be taken into account if he is convicted in Ireland.

    The struck-off solicitor failed to turn up in the High Court in 2007 and fled the country, leaving behind an estimated €80 million in debts.

    He is being held at a remand prison in Recife in northwest Brazil.

    Mr Lynn has been in prison since 2013 when Brazilian federal police, acting on behalf of Interpol, arrested him.

    His High Court challenge relates to an offer by the Director of Public Prosecutions to Brazil of a guarantee that Mr Lynn's time served in that country would be offset against any prison term he might get in Ireland if convicted.

    Mr O'Higgins told the court that Irish authorities have no legal power to do that and Mr Lynn needs a declaration from the High Court.

    Senior Counsel Sean Gillane, for the DPP, argued the proceedings should be dismissed.

    Mr Justice Michael McGrath reserved judgment, and said he hopes to rule by tomorrow, given the extradition is scheduled for 28 February.

  • High Court actions taken by a number of meat factories against protesting beef farmers have been discontinued, court documents lodged last week show.

    Other factories are expected to end their pursuit of legal remedies in the coming days and weeks.

    The Irish Independent reports that two processors, Kepak and Anglo Beef Processing Ireland, have both filed a Notice of Discontinuance in their High Court proceedings against farmers after protests at their factories ended last week.

    They were two of a number of factories nationwide which sought legal action after protests disrupted meat production at their plants, leading to thousands of people being laid off work.

    The protests at factory gates were stood down last week following marathon talks at the Department of Agriculture between processors and farmers' groups.

    The agreement will see increased prices for beef farmers and reform of the sector but was due to come into effect once all protests ended.

  • Dawn Meats has been granted permission to bring attachment and committal proceedings against a protester at a meat plant, back to the High Court on Friday.

    It's after farmers continued to block access to factories despite a high court injunction stopping them from protesting.

    The pickets have stemmed from a row over beef prices.

    Dawn Meats said it was forced to return to the High Court today to request the enforcement of the injunction and that similar action may be taken against further individuals.

    Injunction were also granted to Slaney Meats and Kepak banning protests at their factories.



    A suspended solicitor has consented to High Court orders freezing his accounts below €1.06m, plus orders effectively aimed at winding up his former practice at Ballaghderreen, Co Roscommon.

    Declan O’Callaghan will be entitled to vouched monthly living expenses of €11,600, the president of the High Court, Mr Justice Peter Kelly also directed.

    That sum was agreed between the solicitor and the Law Society and includes mortgage repayments.

    The consent orders also provide Mr O’Callaghan will remain suspended from practice and must provide a sworn statement of his assets.

    According to The Irish Independent the consent order also provide for steps to achieve the sale of three properties – his family home in Ballaghderreen, a townhouse in Portugal and a property at Arran Quay, Dublin - with the proceeds going towards clearing the deficit on the account of the Kilraine O’Callaghan practice at Pound Street, Ballaghderreen.

    A sum of €108,000 is also to be paid out today to a law firm related to certain litigation and the orders provide for handover tomorrow  Friday of files of the practice to the Law Society and for it to have access to the practice from then.

    In making the orders, Mr Justice Kelly noted the Society alleges dishonesty against Mr O’Callaghan while he has consistently denied any dishonesty.

    That issue will be adjudicated on in due course by the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal and was not before the court in this application, he said.

    The Society, he noted, has made two referrals to the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal of issues concerning Mr O’Callaghan’s practice and it seemed a third referral is likely arising from further investigation reports.

    It was "important" the court makes clear Mr O’Callaghan has asserted at all times he has conducted himself honestly, had at all times sought to act in the best interests of the clients of his firm and intends to personally make good any shortfalls which may be found in the practice and to ensure no client of the practice is at a loss.

    It was also important to say the Society is not alleging any dishonesty against Mr O'Callaghan's daughters Aoife and Eimear O'Callaghan, both solicitors, who were made partners in the practice last month for the purposes of ensuring it remains insured, the judge said. 

  • The Tibohine Action Group in Roscommon has confirmed that they intend to take Roscommon County Council to the High Court in relation to the development of a Biopark at Ballinphuill, Tibohine.

    In a statement today the group says: “After eight years of fighting for proper and fair procedure regarding the development of a Biopark at Ballinphuill, Tibohine, we have been left with no option other than to take Roscommon County Council to the High Court.

    Our case has been accepted by the High Court and will now go through the court process.

    Our greatest grievance is the acceptance of the retention application by Roscommon County Council.

    This has been a very long battle but we have remained united as an Action Group and we fully intend to see this process out to its conclusion.

    The Tibohine Action Group says it will not be making any further comment at this time.

  • Tim O’Leary has issued High Court proceedings against Mayo GAA seeking the return of a €150,000 donation and damages for breach of fiduciary duty as a row over governance spills over into the legal arena.

    O'Leary has also threatened to issue a further lawsuit if he does not get an apology for an email sent by a Mayo county board officer which called him a "donkey".

    The Irish Independent is reporting that his action seeking the return of the €150,000 was initiated yesterday, a week after a solicitor's letter on behalf of the board rejected a request for the money to be given back.

    It comes at a sensitive time for the county's GAA hierarchy as a convention takes place tomorrow in Belmullet to elect officers to the board.