The Health Service Executive has apologised to the parents of a 25-year-old man who took his own life after leaving a mental health unit on his own, despite instructions from his psychiatrist that he should not be allowed to do so.

The parents of Galway student Jamie Costello have settled their legal action over his death in 2019.

Mr Costello suffered from mental health issues and was a patient in the Acute Adult Mental Health Unit at University Hospital Galway.

He was due to be assessed at a specialist facility in London.

Although he was a voluntary patient, his movements were restricted and his consultant psychiatrist's instructions were that he was not to leave the unit without being accompanied by a family member or an occupational therapist.

The court heard during two weeks in September and October 2019, Mr Costello left the unit unaccompanied three times.

On the third occasion, he took his own life. His body was recovered on 2 October and he was identified by his father.

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In a letter read to the court, the general manager of Galway Roscommon Mental Health Services apologised unreservedly to the family for the standard of care delivered to Mr Costello.

He said they understood that the apology could not negate the deep effect the loss of their son had on their lives.

Dr Alan and Denise Costello said they hope no other family will have to go through a similar experience.

Mr Justice Paul Coffey approved the settlement, details of which were not disclosed, and extended his sympathy to the Costello family.