herald

Thursday 28 August 2014

Savita's husband to assist HSE inquiry

THE grieving husband of Savita Halappanavar has met with officials at the Indian embassy in Dublin.

Praveen Halappanavar is to be given significant input into the HSE's inquiry into his wife's tragic death, according to authorities.

Details of the inquiry's terms of reference are due to be finalised this evening once lawyers for the 31-year-old's family meet with the HSE.

Despite returning to Ireland to ensure he is able to closely follow the investigation, Mr Halappanavar has also vowed never to return to the Galway home where he and Savita hoped to raise their child.

"Praveen has been asked to give his version of events to embassy officials and to his solicitor so he can have an input into the terms of reference of the HSE inquiry," a friend of Mr Halappanavar told the Herald today.

"He has been deeply moved by the vigils which have taken place, especially seeing the thousands of people marching through Dublin. It has given him great comfort," he added.

Savita's brother, Sanjeev Yalagi, also said his family had been moved by the thousands of people who had taken part in vigils across Ireland at the weekend.

"We cannot bring Savita back, but we hope there can be change so that women, whether they are Irish or from other countries, are treated differently in the future," he said.

Savita's father, Andanappa Yalagi, who is considering legal action, said: "We want the government of India to put pressure on Ireland to change the law so this won't happen again."

Direction

As well as the HSE inquiry, a separate garda investigation into the circumstances of Savita's death is also under way, under the direction of the Galway Coroner's Office.

It is now understood that medical staff at Galway University Hospital have taken legal advice.

Meanwhile, the political fall-out from the abortion debate is set to further divide the Government, with Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore facing a backbench rebellion over a contentious Dail motion on abortion this week.

Some Labour TDs are warning they may vote against the Government in a Sinn Fein tabled motion calling on the Dail to legislate for abortion.

The Government will reject the motion, and vote against it in the Dail on the basis that it is considering its position after receiving the report of the expert group on abortion last week. Labour chairman Colm Keaveney is warning that the Government response must not be "wishy-washy".

Mr Keaveney said there should be a clear "statement of intent" about how the Coalition will deal with abortion.

Tomorrow will be the first time that the Cabinet comes together to discuss the issue.

TERRY PRONE: PAGE 17

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