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Bereaved families in Waterford and the Southeast deserve answers and the facts – Cullinane

25 April, 2019 - by David Cullinane TD


Sinn Féin TD for Waterford David Cullinane has called on Minister for Health Simon Harris to establish a thorough investigation into claims by four consultant pathologists at University Hospital Waterford about poor facilities at the mortuary. Deputy Cullinane said claims that decomposing bodies were left on trolleys is distressing and that serious questions need to be answered. 

Deputy Cullinane has been informed by a senior representative at UHW that no risk incident forms were submitted regarding these horrific instances and that no bereaved family was ever informed of the circumstances in which their loved ones were left. 

Speaking today, Deputy Cullinane said:

“I was truly shocked to read the contents of the letter signed by four pathologists at UHW. The circumstances they describe at the mortuary are beyond shocking. It is horrifying to think that decomposing bodies were left on trolleys due to a lack of refrigeration facilities at the mortuary. It is equally horrifying to learn that this led to some families not being able to wake their loved ones in an open casket. 

“These claims raise serious questions. How long was this happening? How many bodies were left decomposing on trolleys? Were the relatives of the deceased informed? It has been confirmed to me by a senior hospital manager that no family was ever informed of these circumstances. This is truly shocking. 

“The Minister for Health needs to urgently establish an investigation into the contents of the letter and the graphic and disturbing issues raised. Bereaved families in Waterford and the South East deserve answers.” 

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