Media barred from lecture given by State pathologist

Prof Marie Cassidy had spoken of lack of recognition for forensic pathology training

State Pathologist Prof Marie Cassidy requested that the media not be allowed attend her lecture in Carlow

State Pathologist Prof Marie Cassidy requested that the media not be allowed attend her lecture in Carlow

Thu, Apr 11, 2013, 07:00

Press access to a lecture given by State Pathologist Prof Marie Cassidy was cancelled at the last minute following a call from her office prohibiting media attendance.

Prof Cassidy went to Carlow Institute of Technology yesterday morning to deliver a lecture on the role of forensic pathology to students. Hundreds of science students attended the lecture, but an invitation issued to the media by Carlow IT to attend was withdrawn.

A spokeswoman for Carlow IT said it had received a call on Tuesday evening telling it the media were not to be allowed into yesterday’s lecture and Prof Cassidy would not be giving interviews afterwards.

“She was an invited guest and we respected her wishes,” the spokeswoman said.

Outspoken
Earlier this week, giving a speech at the University of Limerick Prof Cassidy was outspoken about the lack of recognition for forensic pathology training in Ireland. She said it was going to be a problem in the next five to 10 years because those in forensic pathology were “coming to that age when we will be thinking about giving up and we will be going within a few years of one another.”

“To train our own forensic pathologists, we have to have certain things in place and we have to be recognised by the Medical Council as a speciality in our own right,” she said.

“We are still locked in with the hospital pathologists even though what we do is completely different and they don’t have the training to do what we do.”

Reform
She also called for reform of the inquest system in Ireland. The State Pathologist’s Office comes under the aegis of the Department of Justice. Asked yesterday whether Prof Cassidy had been asked by the department not to talk to the media, a spokesman said he did not believe there had been any effort to censor her. He could not provide a comment from the State Pathologist’s Office. According to a press release issued after yesterday’s lecture by Carlow IT, Prof Cassidy talked about the role of forensic pathology.