The family of an eight-year-old boy who suffered a severe brain injury at birth has reached an interim €2.8m settlement with the Health Service Executive.

Tadgh Costello was born in Kerry General Hospital in May 2006.

He has cerebral palsy and is totally dependent on others for all of his daily needs.

He cannot speak or use his limbs and can communicate only through facial expressions.

His family say the consultant who delivered Tadgh met them shortly after the birth, apologised for what happened and cried with them.

However, it was not until February this year that the HSE admitted liability.

Today Tadgh's mother Mary Costello said the apology from the HSE was incomplete as it addressed only what happened at Tadgh's birth and not the stress caused to the family by the long legal battle.

The settlement covers the family's needs for the last nine years and for the next two, after which the case will be reviewed.

In a statement from the family, they said: "Today is a day we as a family have waited for almost 9 years.

"It marks the end of our struggle to get justice for our very brave little boy, Tadgh.

"It is also the day on which we dare to hope that life will become a little easier for Tadgh, for us his parents and for our other three wonderful children, Kate, Pat and Grace."

They said the settlement will allow them to provide 24-hour specialist care "which has been denied for all his life to date".

The HSE said: "We would like to apologise unreservedly to both of you and to your son Tadgh for the injuries he sustained at his birth in 2006.

"Sadly, we are unable to change what happened to Tadgh, but we would like to inform you that we have since introduced specific guidelines and protocols to assist us in preventing adverse outcomes in the future."

This evening, in another statement, the HSE said it wished to make clear the State Claims Agency and not the HSE make decisions in relation to the legal approach taken in such cases.

It added the HSE does not know why this case took so long to reach settlement and it has a policy of open disclosure at the earliest opportunity where it will admit liability in cases of wrongdoing.