St Luke's Hospital in Kilkenny has apologised to the family of a 47-year-old man who died while on a waiting list for surgery to have his gallbladder removed.

The High Court was told that Patrick Doyle, from Killeshin in Co Carlow, was diagnosed in September 2016 with gallstone pancreatitis and had his case marked as urgent.

He was booked for surgery in November that year to have the gallbladder removed but was still on the waiting list the following March when he collapsed with severe upper abdominal pain.

He was readmitted to hospital in Kilkenny but his condition deteriorated and he was transferred to Dublin where it was noted he had necrotising pancreatitis, septic shock and an acute kidney injury. He was ventilated, intubated and sedated and remained in intensive care for 90 days.

He died on 20 June 2017, the court was told.

In their action against the HSE, it was claimed there was a failure to follow guidelines for the management of his condition when first diagnosed and a failure to book and carry out an urgent removal of the gallbladder.

St Luke's Hospital issued an unreserved apology to his family in court for its "failings in respect of the care of the late Patrick Doyle".

Offering condolences in the written apology read to the court, General Manager Anne Slattery, on behalf of the hospital, also said: "We deeply regret these failings and acknowledge the sadness, distress and loss these failings have caused you and your family."

The hospital also offered sincere condolences to the Doyle family.

Senior Counsel Oonah McCrann said Mr Doyle was a "much loved brother and uncle".

Liability was admitted in the case, and the settlement - the terms of which are confidential - was reached after mediation.

Outside court, Mr Doyle's sister Lillie Collins, from Loughrea in Co Galway, who had brought the case against the HSE on behalf of the family, said they had been reassured by the Kilkenny hospital that her brother's condition was not serious, but when they noticed his further deterioration, they requested a transfer to a Dublin hospital.

She said it was her family's hope that lessons "will be learned by the hospital regarding delays in treatment of gallstone pancreatitis in patients, particularly given the fatal consequences that can occur".

She added: "We hope our story will spread awareness on this issue as we do not wish another family to go through the harrowing ordeal that we have suffered following the needless loss of our much loved brother".