Thursday, 29 January 2004

Questions (125)

Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin


122 Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin asked the Minister for Health and Children the status of the Dunne inquiry; if the inquiry is in difficulty in view of the fact that it has missed its deadlines for reporting; when it is expected to report; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2601/04]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Health and Children)

The post mortem inquiry is a non-statutory inquiry chaired by Ms Anne Dunne SC. Since the beginning of 2003, the inquiry has been concentrating on the investigation of the post mortem policy, practice and procedure of the three main paediatric hospitals, that is the National Children's Hospital, Tallaght, the Children's University Hospital, Temple Street and Our Lady's Hospital for Sick Children, Crumlin. Up to mid-October, the inquiry had heard 56 hospital and non-hospital witnesses at oral hearings and had accumulated almost 3,500 pages of transcripts of oral evidence.

The chairman has informed me that the inquiry has received considerable co-operation from each of the hospitals with which it is presently dealing and that the inquiry's non-statutory nature has not thus far significantly hampered its substantive work. The chairman is mindful of the need to have her report completed as soon as is reasonably practicable following the completion of the oral evidence.