The High Court has approved a settlement of €10m in the case of an eight-year-old boy with autism who sued the National Maternity Hospital over the circumstances of his birth.

It is only the second such case to come before the courts seeking to establish an alleged link between autism and a lack of oxygen at birth.

Liability was not admitted in the case.

Lawyers for Aston Shiels Flynn said it is the highest settlement for an autism-related birth injury.

Aston is on the highest scale of the autism spectrum, has developmental delay and limited speech.

The boy from Gorey, Co Wexford had through his mother Michelle Shiels sued the National Maternity Hospital at Holles Street, Dublin over the circumstances of his birth on 7 March, 2014.

The court was told that medical experts for the family would say Aston should have been delivered four days earlier and that his birth and prenatal care was mismanaged.

It was claimed there was a failure to properly diagnose, treat and care for the baby and his mother, resulting in alleged acute hypoxia before and during delivery.

It was also alleged there was a delay in diagnosing hypoglycaemia.

The claims were denied.

Senior Counsel Richard Kean said the settlement marks the end of an eight-year battle for Aston's family and came about after prolonged negotiations.

He said it was the second only such case before the courts where it was sought to establish an alleged link between autism and hypoxic events during delivery.

Mr Kean said settlement represented 50% of the full value of the case. He said liability and causation were fully contested by the hospital.

Aston's mother Michelle Shiels told the court she was relieved at the settlement and said they "can go on into the future and try our best for our son".

Approving the settlement, Mr Justice Paul Coffey said it was a very sad and tragic case and accepted there were significant litigation risks in the case.

The judge said the €10m offered was a fair and reasonable settlement and he wished the family well for the future.

Outside court, the family solicitor Georgina Robinson said the settlement marked the end of an eight-year battle for Aston’s parents Michelle and Damien.

Solicitor Georgina Robinson speaks to reporters with Aston's parents to her right

She said the settlement will secure Aston’s future and provide peace of mind to Michelle and Damien that Aston will be cared for, for the rest of his life.

"Today, Aston is a happy eight-year-old boy who, despite his condition, lives his life in the company of his loving family," she said.

"Outside of this Aston does not speak, he does not understand simple instructions and cannot express his feelings.

"Michelle and Damien have learned to manage Aston’s condition as best they can. Their own lives have been hugely affected. During this prolonged court process, they have been forced to relive the circumstances of Aston’s birth over and over again.

"Throughout this process, they have only ever sought a fair settlement for Aston which will provide for his future and for specialist treatment which may help him become more independent. Therapy is key to Aston living his best life and today’s settlement will ensure that Aston receives the best treatment possible.

"Finally, Michelle and Damien have asked me to thank the Court, Aston’s medical legal experts and his entire legal team for all they have done to achieve today’s result for Aston.

"They hope Aston’s case will lead to a focus within our medical system on the standard of health care afforded to women in pregnancy and for greater resources to be applied throughout our public health care system to children with autism and associated neurological conditions."