University Hospital Limerick apologises to family of man who died after ‘horrendous ordeal’

Michael Daly Snr died after suffering post-operative bleeding and pain following bowel operation in 2007

The family of Michael Daly Snr outside the court on Thursday. Photograph: Collins Courts

A family’s legal battle over the death of their father in 2010 has ended with University Hospital Limerick (UHL) apologising unreservedly in the High Court.

The apology to the family of Michael Daly Snr was read out in court with 16 members of his family in attendance. The court heard the family’s action over the 64-year old man’s death had been settled.

Mr Daly Snr, a father of six, died in 2010 following what his son Mike Daly Jnr later described as “horrendous suffering” after a bowel operation in 2007.

After the surgery, he continued to suffer from post-operative bleeding and pain and endured multiple hospital admissions and attendances between 2008 until his condition deteriorated in March 2010 with evidence of sepsis. He was transferred to hospice care on April 6th, 2010 and died the next day.


Barrister Doireann O’Mahony, for the family, told the court Mr Daly Snr went through a “horrendous ordeal” and there were numerous admissions and discharges from UHL in 2008 and 2009 until his death.

The family, she said, had spent the last 14 years “tirelessly and relentlessly” asking for justice over their father’s death.

Counsel said an inquest returned a verdict of natural causes, after which Michael Daly Jnr and the family campaigned and went through Mr Daly Snr’s medical records.

She said a second inquest was granted and new evidence was presented that showed Mr Daly Snr had an infection and developed sepsis. A new verdict of medical misadventure was recorded.

The HSE, she said, admitted a breach of duty in relation to the care received by Mr Daly Snr at UHL and a confidential settlement was reached after mediation..

The hospital, in a letter from the UL Hospitals Group read to the court, admitted liability and “apologised unreservedly” to Mr Daly’s widow Mary and the Daly family “for the hurt, stress and upset caused”.

It added: “Regrettably investigations have shown that aspects of the care received by Mr Daly did not reach the standards that could be expected.”

It also offered sincere sympathies on the death of Mr Daly.

In court, Mr Daly Snr’s 14-year old granddaughter, Layla Daly, read a statement on behalf of the family which said he was “a hardworking man who always provided for his wife and kids”.

“He was always there for all of us as kids and later on in life as adults he enjoyed spending time with all his grandchildren, always having a laugh with them.”

They said through their memories and stories he will always be remembered “for the great man he was.”

Outside the Four Courts, Michael Daly Jnr said the family had “finally achieved recognition that our father’s death was not due to natural causes.

“Had the truth been told to us at the time, we would not have had to endure this prolonged struggle, which ultimately resulted in a historic second inquest into our father’s death.”

He added: “Today, with the admission of liability and the public apology, we can finally close this awful chapter in our pursuit of justice for our father. Our case against the HSE has concluded.

He also said it was imperative that what happened to their father never happens to another person again, and he hoped a non-statutory inquiry into the matter would ensure this.

In the High Court proceedings against the HSE it was claimed there was a failure to treat Mr Daly in an appropriate manner and a failure to pay proper attention or heed the nature and extent of the symptoms complained of by Mr Daly.

Mr Daly developed rectal cancer in March 2007 and a cancerous tumour was removed from his bowel. He subsequently developed a leak which is a risk associated with this type of procedure.

It was noted by the coroner at the second inquest that Mr Daly had multiple attendances and admissions and subsequent discharges from UHL throughout the period 2008-2009-2010. Noting the settlement Mr Justice Paul Coffey extended his deepest sympathy to the Daly family.