The HSE has issued an apology and made a €4.6m interim payment to a two-year-old boy with cerebral palsy who brought a High Court medical negligence claim over the circumstances of his birth at Cavan General Hospital.
Tadhg McKenna sued the HSE for alleged negligence and breach of duty of care during the course of his delivery on 31 August 2017.
The settlement was made with full admission of liability by the HSE and the hospital, who apologised unreservedly for the failings of care.
The court was told that Tadhg McKenna from Emyvale in Co Monaghan requires 24-hour care because of what was described as an "avalanche of mistakes" made during his birth at the hospital almost three years ago.
Counsel for the McKenna family, Jerry Healy, told the court that Tadhg's mother Emma describes her son's life as "simply a fight for survival".
He said Tadhg's father Damien is by his side 24 hours a day caring for him and that Tadhg, who is one of three children, is non-verbal, has issues with pain and that his family home needed to be modified to facilitate his needs.
The settlement was reached with full admission of liability by the HSE and Cavan General Hospital and a letter of apology on their behalf was read in court
It said it unreservedly apologised for the failings of care that caused the injuries sustained by Tadhg at birth and the consequential upset and trauma suffered by his parents, siblings and wider family.
The letter also said the hospital and the HSE understand that neither this apology nor the financial compensation granted by the court can negate the continuing distress and upset endured by Tadhg and his family on a daily basis.
In a statement read by solicitor Barry Healy on behalf of the family after the hearing, Emma and Damien McKenna said Tadhg would have been born a perfectly health boy if it were not for the negligence of the HSE.
They said they were disappointed it had taken the hospital and HSE almost three years to admit liability.
His parents said Tadhg's life has been destroyed and the life of his family had been grievously damaged.
They said caring for him is a 24-hour task that that are only too willing to perform, but they said that care is "haunted by the sadness of what might have been for Tadhg".
They described how Tadhg suffers with seizures, respiratory attacks and fevers, requiring constant suctioning and monitoring.
His quality of life "has been reduced to simply fighting for survival", they said, because of what they described as the "breathtaking negligence of the HSE".
The family described Tadhg as a beautiful amazing little boy and his parents said they are so proud of him.
They said Tadhg is a fighter who has borne the most unimaginable hardship to survive and described him as "an inspiration".
They said he will now have the care he deserves for the rest of his life and will continue to be loved and treasured by his family.
In his action against the HSE it was claimed that Tadhg was born suffering from severe asphyxia and had to be resuscitated.
It was claimed the mother's labour was allowed to continue for over 16 hours and there was an alleged failure to appropriately monitor the mother during labour and delivery.
It is further claimed there was an alleged failure to monitor the foetal heart rate.
In addition, Tadhg had also sought exemplary or aggravated damages over the alleged involvement in his birth by Dr Aamir Iqbal Malik, who had been the subject of a disciplinary investigation in the UK.
Dr Malik was suspended from the medical register in Ireland by the High Court in May, pending further order.
It was also claimed that Dr Malik had neither the professional capacity not the competence to provide such care either at all or without appropriate supervision to the boy.
The award of €4.6m was made for five years, with the settlement to be reviewed again in 2025.