The Irish Times journalist who first reported the case of Savita Halappanavar on 14 November said she stands over the report and that Praveen Halappanavar is a "credible witness".

Kitty Holland told RTÉ News that the newspaper never suggested that a termination of pregnancy might have saved Mrs Halappanavar's life.

Her comments follow an email issued by the Life Institute organisation, which cited remarks that Ms Holland made during a live radio interview on Newstalk at the weekend.

During the interview with Marc Coleman, Ms Holland said she reported the concerns of Mr Halappanavar about what he said had happened at University Hospital Galway.

She said that his recollection of events, the timeline and days, may be a little muddled.

Ms Holland told RTÉ News that the Health Service Executive was given two days to reply to queries before The Irish Times published the story.

Meanwhile, Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar said that any future legislation on abortion could turn out to be unconstitutional and may result in a referendum.

Speaking on the RTÉ’s News at One Mr Varadkar said there were currently no plans to have a referendum on abortion, but it may prove unavoidable.

He said that any pregnant woman going into hospital should know that she will get any care that she needs and that if legislation is needed to clarify that, he would support it.

"Referendums aren't something that I relish they always get diverted into other topics, but we shouldn't rule out the possibility that we may end up there."