‘Fair hearing for sad death’: Limerick family’s protest for late dad

Fintan Walsh

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Fintan Walsh

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fintan.walsh@limerickleader.ie

‘Fair hearing for sad death’: Limerick family’s protest for late dad

Mary, Maria, Michael Jnr, Sabdra Gavin, and Mark Daly head to Dublin to peacefully protest outside the Irish Medical Council offices | Picture: Michael Cowhey.

DOZENS of family members and friends of a dead pensioner staged a peaceful protest outside the Irish Medical Council offices on Thursday, in a bid to ensure a fitness to practice committee hearing takes place.

Michael Daly Snr, of Lee Estate, died aged 66 on April 7, 2010, after repeatedly presenting at Mid-Western Regional Hospital—now University Hospital Limerick—after two years of complaining of pain and rectal bleeding.

Preparations for a fitness to practice committee hearing have been underway in relation to Mr Daly for a number of years.

A criminal investigation and a second inquest into the circumstances of Mr Daly’s death have yet to be concluded.

Family members have received an email from a solicitor, who was preparing a case for the hearing, stating: “We are further instructed by the CEO to notify the Committee that we are applying to strike out the complaint/Inquiry in respect of [consultant]. It will be a matter for the Committee to determine whether it is appropriate in the circumstances to strike out the complaint/Inquiry in respect of [consultant].”

The Limerick Leader reported in September 2012 that a verdict of natural causes was returned at Limerick Coroner’s Court at the inquest.

His son Michael Daly Jnr, who was unhappy with the verdict, led an appeal with his family to have the inquest reopened. And in March 2017, coroner John McNamara confirmed to the family that a second inquest was to be reopened late last year.

In October 2017, gardai confirmed that officer at Henry Street were investigating the death of Michael Daly.

It is likely that the second inquest will take place after gardai conclude their investigations.

Henry Street superintendent Derek Smart confirmed this week: “We are continuing our investigating of a number of allegations that have been made regarding the death of Mr Daly.”

It is understood that State Pathologist Dr Marie Cassidy has been called in to review the case.

Mr Daly and his family and friends will wear t-shirts at the peaceful protest, bearing a picture of his late father with the slogan: “A fair hearing for a sad death.”

Mr Daly said that if the committee strikes out the hearing, the family will seek a judicial review in the High Court.

In a previous interview, after gardai launched the probe, Michael Daly Jnr said that the past seven years have been a “battle for truth”.

“The past seven years have been horrendous for us as a family with the realisation of what happened our dad, and as a family we are delighted that our dad's death is being investigated by An Gardai Siochana and the State pathologist Professor Marie Cassidy, it has been a long seven years.”

Mr Daly previously said that since weeks before his father’s death, he and his sisters, Sandra and Susan, have been requesting for all of his health records, adding that they had studied more than 3,200 documents.

“And after a four-year long investigation, I found myself in a position to request a second inquest, based on my findings.”

In October he said that the family “are very happy” with the gardaí and their handling of the matter and with coroner John McNamara’s role. 

In March 2017, he said the family endured “four years of grief” since the first inquest.