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Doherty calls on Health Minister to announce McGinley Inquiry

23 June, 2008

Sinn Féin West Tyrone MP Pat Doherty has called on Health Minister Michael McGimpsey to reverse his decision to refuse a full Independent Public Inquiry into the circumstances by which deceased Strabane woman Maureen McGinley was found, upon post mortem, to have sustained 32 rib fractures following her death at Altnagelvin hospital on 3rd January 2007.

Tomorrow afternoon, MLA's will debate a motion brought forward by the Assembly's Health Committee calling for such an inquiry and speaking before the debate Pat Doherty said,

"There are many disturbing aspects to this case which have caused immense additional trauma to the McGinley family and widespread public concerns about deficiencies in the current arrangements between hospitals and the Coronary Service when a deceased person is sent for post-mortem.

"The McGinley family were not informed about the injuries their mother sustained until more than ten weeks after her death. This is a grounds in itself for a public inquiry.

"Te subsequent in-house inquiry carried out by Altnagelvin hospital in its 'Critical Incident Review Report' was basically an exercise in absolving Altnagelvin and the Coronary Service of any responsibility in terms of how these injuries were sustained and through unfounded conjecture and assumptions attempt to place the blame at the door of the undertaker who transported the body of Maureen McGinley from Altnagelvin.

"The McGinley family have been courageous in their campaign to secure the truth about what happened to their mother and have exhausted every possible avenue in pursuit of this cause only to find their efforts frustrated at every turn.

"Over 14,000 people have signed a petition calling for a Full Independent Inquiry into the case of Maureen McGinley and it is clear that this case is a matter of major public concern as it is directly linked with the issue of health care for the elderly in our society.

"Up until now the Minister has refused to accept the need for an inquiry but I trust that tomorrow he will finally accept that the will of the Assembly on this matter.

"This inquiry is essential not only to secure the truth about what happened in the case of Maureen McGinley but also to ensure that the public confidence, that has been lost in the system as a result of this disturbing case, is restored." ENDS

Note to editors:

The debate into the case of Maureen McGinley is scheduled to take place in the Assembly at 3pm tomorrow and members of the McGinley family will be present in the Pubic Gallery.

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