The National Maternity Hospital at Holles Street in Dublin is to appeal a High Court finding that it was liable for the brain injuries suffered by a boy during his birth in December 2001.

Mr Justice Daniel Herbert found last week that the hospital should have delivered Paul Fitzpatrick half an hour earlier. He found if this had happened, he would not have sustained irreversible brain injury leaving him totally dependent for the rest of his life.

The decision followed the longest ever birth injury case in this country. Costs in the 54 day case are estimated at €4m.

The next phase of the case is to be an assessment of damages.

This morning, lawyers for the National Maternity Hospital told Mr Justice Herbert they would be appealing the liability finding. 

Charles Meenan SC said he wanted to make clear the appeal was not a ‘tactic’ but was being brought because his side believed there were good grounds to challenge the finding of liability.

Mr Justice Herbert said it could be two to three years before the appeal was heard.