Cavan General Hospital has apologised to a couple for the death of their baby son just over eight years ago.

Agnes McArdle and Finbar McElroy sued the hospital over the circumstances surrounding the stillbirth of their son, Padraig Eugene on 28 June 2009.

An apology from the HSE, the RCSI Hospital Group and the management and staff at Cavan General Hospital was read to the High Court as part of a settlement.

In it, the defendants expressed their sincere apologies to Ms McArdle and Mr McElroy for the shortcomings in management and care when Ms McArdle was admitted to the maternity services. 

They acknowledged that the shortcomings resulted in the death of their son.

They also extended their apologies for the distress and suffering that this had caused to them and to their extended family.

In a statement outside court the couple's solicitor, Shane Kennedy, said the awful tragedy could have been avoided if there had been proper monitoring and interpretation of the baby's heartbeat.

He said they hoped no other family would have to go through this type of loss and it could have been avoided if proper training and monitoring had been put in place.

Mr Kennedy also said the couple's darkest hour had happened in June 2009 and it had been harrowing for them to wait eight years for this settlement to be reached. 

He said they hoped a more humane and compassionate way could be found to deal with such cases.

Ms McArdle went to the hospital on the night of 27 June 2009, as she became concerned about reduced foetal movements. 

At that stage she was four days overdue. Padraig Eugene would have been her second child.

The family said there was a failure to properly monitor the foetal heart rate and to interpret the recordings. 

This would have shown the baby's condition was deteriorating and he could have been delivered earlier.

An ultrasound in the early hours of the following morning showed the baby had died and he was delivered by Caesarean section a couple of hours later.

The couple claimed that when they came back to the hospital to arrange the removal of the baby's remains, they were advised to take him via the service lift to the back entrance of the hospital. 

They said that when they said they wanted to take him out the front door, they received a phone call asking them again, if they would prefer to take the remains out the back entrance. They said this added further to their already distraught state.

Ms McArdle suffered ongoing trauma, grief and depression as a result of the death of her son.

Mr Justice Kevin Cross said he was glad a settlement had been agreed, he noted the apology and sympathised with the family for their loss.