[Sinn Fein]

11th December 2002

Sympathy on death of baby at Cavan Hospital

Sinn Fein Health spokesperson and Cavan/Monaghan TD Caoimhghin Ó Caoláin has expressed his sympathy to the family of the newborn baby who died at Cavan General Hospital after journeying by ambulance from Monaghan General Hospital in the early hours of this morning (Wednesday). Deputy Ó Caoláin said this was ``an awful tragedy'' for the family and for all who yearn for health justice for the people of Co. Monaghan.

Deputy Ó Caoláin said:

``Deepest sympathy goes to the family bereaved in this very tragic way so close to Christmas. I understand that the expectant mother was first of all brought to Monaghan General Hospital. She was then taken by ambulance to Cavan. The baby, born prematurely, died at Cavan General Hospital shortly after arrival.

``While the North Eastern Health Board is reviewing all the circumstances surrounding this death, it has to be said that this tragedy again highlights the disastrous effect of the withdrawal of the maternity unit from Monaghan General Hospital. This tragedy might not have occurred if the Maternity Unit at Monaghan had remained open. Expectant mothers from North Monaghan and elsewhere in the County now have greater distances to travel to either Cavan or Drogheda, increasing the risk of out-of-hospital births and such tragedies.''

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