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Savita's husband braced for ordeal as inquest begins

THE grieving husband of Savita Halappanavar attended the opening of the inquest into her death today.

Praveen Halappanavar and his solicitor Gerard O'Donnell are to take part in the inquest, despite concerns they have over the HSE and HIQA investigations into her death.

It has also emerged the official records prove Savita asked for a termination of her unviable pregnancy have come to light. It is understood the request was included in the statements by the consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist who treated her before her death.







Child

Mr O'Donnell said he could not comment on any documentation that was to come before the inquest.

However, he added: "All I can say is our client's story has and will be proven to be accurate."

This will be the first official confirmation that Savita begged for a termination when it became apparent her child would not survive.

Mr Halappanavar's solicitor Gerard O'Donnell confirmed to the Herald that he received two folders of statements from gardai earlier this week. It amounts to over 58 statements to date.

"We have now been given all the hospital records and most of the statements. The detail in the medical records is as it was before but it will be more the evidence under oath that we will be concentrating on," he said. Mr O'Donnell said he had warned his client to brace himself for the details included in the reports.

"It will be very difficult for him. I've read the reports myself and it makes for difficult reading and I know it will be difficult for him but he is determined to read them all and get to the truth of things," he added.

Savita (31) died in Galway University Hospital on October 28 from septicaemia. She died seven days after being admitted with back pain to its maternity unit.

Close to 60 witnesses are to provide written statements to Coroner Dr Ciaran McLoughlin who will chair the inquest.







Family

A preliminary hearing takes place this morning. It is hoped that a full hearing will take place in March.

Minister for Health James Reilly met Mr Halappanavar and his solicitor in a private meeting in Athlone in December. He assured them the final report from the HSE inquiry into Savita's death would be completed by mid-February at the latest.

The family has now agreed to delay any possible European Court action until after this.

ccrawford@herald.ie