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Cross examination of Savita Halappanavar’s consultant obstetrician Dr Katherine Astbury is underway

It’s after she read her statement at the close of day two of the inquest yesterday.

Her deposition detailed her dealings with Ms. Halapannavar from a routine
anti-natal visit to her hospitalisation later in October last year.

The Coroner Dr, Ciaran MacLoughlin asked if there was a system failure in the hospital’s policy of checking vital signs every four hours in a case where membranes have ruptured.

Dr. Astbury said there were readings over four hours but conceded that there were at times longer gaps in that process.

The Coroner also questioned an abnormal white blood count and Dr. Astbury said she wasn’t aware the white cell count was 16.9 and if she had been, she would have repeated it.

The Coroner concluded his questioning by saying there were two system failures involving checking vital signs in the case of ruptured membranes and an abnormal blood count not being communicated to the consultant obstetrician.

She is now being questioned by Praveen’s Senior Counsel Eugene Gleeson.

At the opening this morning Senior Counsel for the HSE Declan Buckley explained a suggestion from a staff witness yesterday that the records may have had entries inserted.

He said the entry on page 23 of the record was a curly bracket and that this bracket does not interfere with anything in the chart.

He added that nothing had been done with the record since November 14th when it was copied and placed in the hospital safe.

He said he asked who had done it and that the only explanation is that somebody who was reviewing the chart took a pen and marked these four areas.

He stressed it wasn’t deliberate and was not tampering with the record.

He added that the HSE internal inquiry did not begin until December 10th.

Breaking News

Death announced of former Bishop of Galway



Dr Martin Drennan.

The death has occurred of the former Bishop of Galway, Kilmacduagh and Kilfenora Martin Drennan, six years after he announced his retirement on health grounds. He was aged 78.

The Galway Diocesan Office confirmed the death this (Saturday) afternoon of the Bishop and Apostolic Administrator Emeritus, who oversaw the Diocese for eleven years.

Born on January 2, 1944 in Piltown, County Kilkenny, he studied for the priesthood at Saint Patrick’s College, Maynooth, from where he was ordained to the priesthood in 1968. His brother Michael is also a priest.

Following his ordination, he continued his studies in Rome where he was awarded a Licentiate in both sacred theology and sacred scripture. He returned to Rome in 1980 to become spiritual director at the Pontifical Irish College for the next five years.

He became a lecturer in sacred scripture at Saint Patrick’s College, Maynooth, where he continued to teach until his appointment as Auxiliary Bishop of Dublin in 1997 with responsibility for East Wicklow and South Dublin.

Following the retirement of Bishop James McLoughlin, Bishop Drennan was appointed Bishop of Galway and Kilmacduagh and Apostolic Administrator of Kilfenora and he was installed on July 3, 2005 in Galway Cathedral.

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Connacht Tribune

O’Flaherty’s promising start



Outgoing Cllr Terry O’Flaherty (Ind) is on course to retain her City Council seat – and top the poll in City East. 

With 33% of the boxes tallied, Cllr O’Flaherty is polling strongly, particularly in Renmore. 

Michael John Crowe is ahead of his running mate Alan Cheevers for the Fianna Fáil vote, according to the early figures, although that could change when Doughiska and Roscam boxes are opened. 

The Green Party’s Claire Hillery is on about 7%, with Fine Gael on 10% and Sinn Fein on 5%.

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Connacht Tribune

Tallies underway as votes are sorted



The opening of boxes for the local elections began at 9am this morning in Leisureland when the tallymen (and women) kicked into gear.

As regards the Galway County Council elections, the smaller areas are being opened first which means that the four-seater Connemara North boxes will be first in the pecking order.

It will be followed by Gort-Kinvara (5 seats), Connemara South (5 seats), Athenry-Oranmore (7 seats), Ballinasloe (6 seats), Loughrea (5 seats) and finally Tuam (7 seats).

The boxes in these areas will be opened and tallied in that particular order before being transferred to the Galway Lawn Tennis Club on Threadneedle Road where the counting will commence around mid-morning.

That is when the fun will really begin – although the tallies should give a good indication as to where most of the seats are destined.

As regards the city, the Galway City East boxes were opened first, followed by Galway City Central and finally Galway City West. These votes will be transferred to the Westside Centre by around 11am for counting.

There are 39 seats on Galway County Council to be filled with 18 on Galway City Council. The City Council count is expected to conclude on Saturday night but the County Council count – with seven electoral areas to be filled – could well go into Monday.

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