Kivlehan family disappointed over inquest delay

Monday 30 June 2014 19.55
Dhara Kivlehan died in September 2010, days after giving birth to her son
Dhara Kivlehan died in September 2010, days after giving birth to her son

The family of an Indian woman who died days after giving birth at Sligo General Hospital have expressed disappointment that it has taken almost four years to get an inquest into her death. 

The legal team representing the family of Dhara Kivlehan have compared the case to that of Savita Halappanavar who died at University Hospital Galway in 2010.

Solicitor Damien Tansey pointed out that an inquest into Ms Halappanavar's death took place six months after she died.

The submissions were made at a preliminary hearing at the Coroner's Court in Leitrim.

Ms Kivlehan died at Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast after failing to receive appropriate medical treatment in Sligo.

She had developed a severe but treatable form of pre-eclampsia towards the end of her pregnancy but was not treated in time.

The Health Service Executive apologised and admitted full liability in an earlier High Court case.

Ms Kivlehan's husband Michael and the couple's son, Dior, received substantial damages.

However, the Kivlehan family has repeatedly called for an inquest to be held in the Republic to compel witnesses to attend and find out exactly what happened.

They said an inquest in Northern Ireland would not answer those questions.

Today's hearing follows direct intervention from the Attorney General following legal representation on behalf of the Kivlehan family.

Coroner Eamon MacGowan said he would convene again on 9 July and name the witnesses being called with a view to having an inquest in September.

They will include 20 doctors and nurses from Sligo General Hospital and the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast.

The coroner said his expert witness would be Dr Peter Boylan.

Ms Kivlehan moved from India to London in 2002 to study fashion and textile design.

She met her husband Michael and they married in 2005. The couple moved back to Ireland and were expecting their first child in September 2010.