Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 31 July 2014

Savita Halappanavar's father: suing hospital is about justice not money

Savita Halappanavar
Savita Halappanavar

The family of Savita Halappanavar have revealed they are taking a case against the hospital in which she died for justice, adding that no compensation will ever return their daughter to them.

Savita's father, Andaneepa Yalagi, said that they were pursuing a case against University Hospital Galway because the hospital had "failed" Savita.

"We are taking a case against Galway hospital, but it is not about money it is about justice. We are taking a prosecution against the hospital because of what happened to Savita, but it will not bring her back. Proper care was not taken of our daughter and for that reason we are going against the hospital," he said.

He insisted that the family's main focus was the case they plan to bring to the European Court of Human Rights. Mr Yalagi said he and his family remained very unhappy about the HSE report into Savita's death which they say did not give them any answers.

"Our big fight will be to the European Court to change the law. We have not got justice from the Irish Government, we are not at all happy with the [HSE] report. We have to do this to stop more women dying. The law has to change in Ireland," he said.

Savita was 17 weeks pregnant when she died at the hospital following a miscarriage last October.

Speaking from his home in Belgaum, India, Mr Yalagi said he was planning to return to Ireland for any court hearings.

"I want to see justice done so I will come to Ireland for the court cases 100pc," he told the Irish Independent.

His comments come as Praveen Halappanavar revealed that he has received hate mail over his campaign for justice for his late wife.

"There is one particular campaigner who writes again and again has told me to leave the country, and to fix the mess in my own country before I try and fix any mess here -- it's quite hurtful," he told RTE's Miriam O'Callaghan.

Mr Halappanavar said he was moving forward with legal action because he believed the HSE report had been "a complete whitewash".

However, he said he had no confidence that the HIQA review would provide clarity, saying it was "more of an audit team".

"We were pushing for a public inquiry, which we still are seeking," he said.

Praveen added that he understood the stress that members of the nursing team in the Galway hospital were facing and revealed that he had received messages and letters from a number of the staff. "I can understand their feelings, it's not easy for them as well," he said.

Mr Yalagi added that he had been in constant contact with his son-in-law regarding any legal action and their decision to press ahead with the cases was taken this week.

"We were talking about all these things but we are now determined we will continue to fight. My daughter sacrificed her life and we must fight for her," he said.

Mr Yalagi said he had mixed feelings about returning to Galway, where he and his wife spent three months with Savita.

Mr Halappanavar's solicitor Gerard O'Donnell said that he expected to issue High Court proceedings against the HSE within the week.

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