Husband will not co-operate with a HSE inquiry
The husband of the late Savita Halappanavar insisted last night that he would not co-operate with any inquiry established by the HSE into her death and would not meet its chairman, Prof Sir Sabaratnam Arulkumaran.
Praveen Halappanavar told The Irish Times he and Savita’s parents wanted a full public inquiry funded by the Department of Health and not by the HSE. He said the removal of the three consultants from Galway University Hospital from the inquiry, announced by the Taoiseach Enda Kenny in the Dáil yesterday, was not enough.
“I am not happy with it. They just set up a panel and didn’t consult us at all. I am not happy with the HSE. The HSE are the ones who messed up Savita’s care. Basically I am insisting on a public inquiry.”
He said Ms Halappanavar’s father, Andanappa Yalagi, had called him at 5am yesterday to discuss progress on the inquiry.
“They are very anxious to see what’s happening. I said I had to keep the pressure on. I said I was not happy with the panel.”
Statement for inquest
Mr Halappanavar spent eight hours in Oranmore Garda station yesterday giving his statement for the inquest into his wife’s death likely to be held early next year.
“It was tough. I had to go through every bit of it. It was very comprehensive. I had to talk about when we met and when we got married. I had to cherish all the memories with Savita. It was tough but I had to do it, for Savita, for her family, for the truth.”
Ms Halappanavar died on October 28th in the hospital’s intensive care unit. She died of septicaemia, having presented at the maternity unit seven days earlier with back pain. She had been 17 weeks pregnant and was found to be miscarrying.
Mr Halappanavar said she had repeatedly asked for a termination over a three-day period. He said this was refused as there was still a foetal heartbeat and she was told “this is a Catholic country”.
Mr Halappanavar’s solicitor, Gerard O’Donnell, said his client wanted a full, public independent inquiry, a demand backed by Labour Senator Ivana Bacik, Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin and Clare Daly and Richard Boyd Barrett of the ULA.