The Irish Times, Thursday, June 13th 2013

A severely disabled four-year-old girl with cerebral palsy has secured an interim payment of €1.3 million under a settlement of her action over alleged negligence in the circumstances of her birth at Letterkenny General Hospital.

Sarah McFeely, through her mother, Bronagh Colhoun, Cill Grein, Lismonaghan, Letterkenny, had sued the HSE over alleged negligent treatment during the pregnancy and birth in September 2008.

Mr. Justice Sean Ryan was told the settlement involved an initial payment of €1.3 million. The case will return to court in three years’ time to address future care costs.

Des O’Neill SC, for Sarah, said she has dyskinetic cerebral palsy affecting her entire body, with no movement on her right side. The proceedings were begun in 2010 after no explanation was forthcoming to the mother from the HSE, he said.

In an open letter last year, the HSE conceded liability and the case was before the High Court for assessment of damages only.

Ms Colhoun, a nurse, has cared for her daughter since birth, counsel added.

Approving the settlement, Mr Justice Ryan said it seemed a highly satisfactory one from Sarah’s point of view.

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