The High Court has approved a €30m settlement for a 14-year-old boy with cerebral palsy.
It is the largest sum of damages ever recorded for a birth injury case in the State.
Oran Molloy, from Birr in Co Offaly, had sued the HSE through his mother Deirdre Molloy over the circumstances of his birth at Portiuncula Hospital in Ballinasloe, Co Galway, on 31 December 2006.
The day beforehand, his mother was admitted to the hospital at 32 weeks' pregnant with an antepartum haemorrhage.
Oran was born on New Year’s Eve by emergency casearean section.
He was unresponsive and required intensive resuscitation.
Oran suffered a lack of oxygen and was diagnosed with cerebral palsy.
In his case, it was claimed there was negligence in the circumstances around his birth.
The HSE has admitted liability in the case.
Oran cannot stand or walk unaided, but he can walk on crutches for short distances and also uses a wheelchair for longer distances.
His cognitive function is normal and he has been in secondary school since September 2020.
The High Court heard that his favourite subject is engineering and that in the future he wants to become an electrical engineer.
Today, lawyers for Oran said that negotiations in the case had been protracted and difficult, but said that they were happy that the sum of €30m was a reasonable one that would adequately provide for Oran.
They said it would provide for all the care he needs, as well as other aids and appliances.
Denis McCullough SC, counsel for Oran, told the High Court today that the Real Rate of Return is an issue, but that it has "not been dealt with by agreement".
"On our calculations", the €30 million sum "does reflect an RRR of minus 1.5. That is not agreed by the defendant", he said.
Mr Justice Paul Coffey approved the settlement and offered his best wishes to Oran, along with his parents Deirdre and Adrian, who were present in the court today.
Speaking outside the court, solicitor for the Molloy family, Gillian O'Connor, said it was a "bittersweet day" for the family.
She said that the award of €30m was a lot of money, but that the Molloy family "would give it back in a heartbeat" if the night of 31 December 2006 could be changed and the "errors erased".
"This is the highest award, but justifiably so, because Oran will live a long and happy life hopefully", she said.
Ms O'Connor said that the State admitted liability in the case three weeks before the trial was due to begin in October, before seeking to adjourn the case for a further four years.
She said the Molloy family wished to thank everybody who had helped them on the road to date.
Ms O'Connor also said that there is an existing periodic payment order (PPO) scheme but it is not linked to the proper inflation predictors and so they asked for an annual payment linked to wage inflation.
"This was refused so we were obliged to go for a lump sum", she said.
She said that they had raised the issue of adverse financial markets and the "real rate of return" and what would be achieved on investments for Oran.
She said the award itself is about 30-40%, or maybe €12 million more than would normally have been awarded.
"That's because, we assess in our view, that this award represents a negative Real rate of return of (minus) -1.5%, not up to (plus) +1.5% which was determined in the Irish courts seven years ago".