The Rotunda Hospital has apologised to the parents of a 13-year-old boy who suffered a brain injury at birth in October 2008.

The High Court has approved an interim settlement of €3.7 million in the case of Cian O'Connor from Glasnevin in Dublin.

His lawyers said the case will have to return to court in ten years' time when his future care needs can be more accurately assessed.

In the apology read to the High Court, the Master of the Rotunda Hospital, Professor Fergal Malone, apologised for "the shortcomings and failings in the care provided to Cian".

He said they did not underestimate how difficult this had been for the family and the challenges faced as a result.

"We express our sincere regret for what has happened and for the consequences of same," he added.

In court Cian's mother, Deirdre O'Connor, told the judge she appreciated the apology from the hospital but was saddened it took so long to get it.

Senior Counsel Bruce Antoniotti said Cian suffered a birth injury due to the "injudicious use of syntocinon" a drug used to induce labour.

The court was told the baby's mother was admitted for an induced labour and was kept on the drug syntocinon "for a considerable period of time".

As a result, it was claimed he suffered brain damage leading to learning and physical difficulties.

The court heard that Cian has the help of an SNA and learning support at primary school and in September will attend a school specialising in those with mild learning disabilities.

Mr Antoniotti said Cian was doing very well at school, but it was a "fluctuating situation" and his future needs could not yet be predicted accurately.

He can walk but tires easily, he will need long term speech and language therapy and is at risk of mental health problems, he said.

He said a ten-year interim payment would allow time to get a better idea of his long-term needs.

Mr Antoniotti said there might also be legislation in place by then governing periodic payments. He said the current legislation had been deemed "not fit for purpose".

The court was told that since his birth, Cian's mother had trained as a Special Needs Assistant to better equip her with the skills required to look after her son.