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Sunday 4 December 2016

'Kenny's sorry not good enough', says dad of tot left 11 hours on trolley

Daniel Long and his infant daughter Orlaith
Daniel Long and his infant daughter Orlaith

A young couple have said they "simply do not accept" an apology from Taoiseach Enda Kenny after their six-week-old baby daughter was left waiting on a hospital trolley for more than 11 hours.

Mr Kenny yesterday apologised to the family of baby Orlaith, who had to remain in an emergency department before being admitted to a children's ward.

Her parents, Daniel Long and Debbie Looney, from Cork, have complained to Cork University Hospital (CUH) about the treatment of their daughter, who was vomiting and showing signs of dehydration.

Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams raised the incident, which happened over the night of November 22, with Mr Kenny during leaders' questions in the Dail.

The Taoiseach said he empathised with the parents' concerns.

"Cork University Hospital is carrying out an investigation into why this child was on a trolley for 11 hours," he said.

"I am glad to note that little baby Orlaith is recovering well and making good progress.

"I'm glad the little child is recovering well. I'm sorry that she was on a trolley for those hours, and I expect the management of the hospital will respond to the minister, Leo Varadkar, and to the HSE as to why that actually happened."

Despite Mr Kenny's apology, Orlaith's parents said no one from his office had contacted them.

Bothered

"We simply do not accept this apology," said Mr Long. "Nobody bothered to get in touch with us directly. So no, we don't accept it.

"We want to raise this issue and tell our story in the hopes that other parents will not have to go through what we did.

"We were worried for our little daughter like any parents would be. Babies can't tell you what's wrong with them.

"We brought Orlaith to A&E at 11.20pm on a Sunday. She did not get a bed until 10.30am on Monday morning. It's a disgrace."

On arrival at CUH, Mr Long and his partner were told they would be "seen in a couple of minutes" because their daughter was so young.

"About 20 minutes later we were still waiting," said Mr Long.

"There were two or three couples who came in and there was another girl with another child who was probably four or five. They were all seen before us."

Mr Long said he became increasingly worried after Orlaith began vomiting in the children's waiting room.

"She was inconsolable crying, she couldn't stop," he said. "Of course, she couldn't tell us what was wrong. We're first-time parents and we were scared and nervous, we didn't know what was going on.

"We just hope others don't have to go through the same."

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