Halappanavar reports and reportage


Sir, – As well as seeking accountability and changes from the HSE; are we going to see some accountability from The Irish Times, which leapt to judgment in the aftermath of Savita Halappanavar’s death and propagated the line that Mrs Halappanavar died because she “was denied an abortion”? We now know, thanks to the Health Information and Quality Authority (Hiqa) report and other reports before it, that it was not Ireland’s abortion law which caused Mrs Halappanavar’s death; rather it was the abysmal monitoring of the patient, while in a public-sector hospital, and the failure to diagnose sepsis in time which resulted in the death of Savita Halappanavar.

I would like to see, one day, a collective apology from the established bastions of Irish journalism (led by The Irish Times) for, after having succumbed to groupthink, sending an erroneous narrative around the world that Ireland’s law on abortion was responsible for Mrs Halappanavar’s death. – Yours, etc,


Knapton Road,


Co Dublin.

Sir, – “More evidence that the law was no barrier to Savita’s life being saved” is the heading to Breda O’Brien’s article (Opinion, October 12th). But her article is totally taken up with reports and opinions referring exclusively to the catalogue of medical errors that occurred after the fateful decision that an abortion was out of the question because “Ireland is a Catholic country”. This although the experts present stated unequivocally that the baby could not be saved. Even though the foetus had no chance of survival, it had precedence over the health of the mother as long there was a foetal heartbeat. By the time there was no foetal heartbeat it was too late for Savita Halappanavar.

Ms O’Brien is desperately (but unsuccessfully) trying to convince herself that the law “was no barrier to Savita’s life being saved”. I believe that had Savita been given the abortion (or inducement, if that word is more palatable to the anti –abortionists) she requested, she would most likely be alive today. – Yours, etc,


Cloncat, Co Meath.