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Medical Negligence and “Doctor X”

In January 2008 we reported the publication of a book by an anonymous Irish doctor, detailing the failings of the Irish hospital system. See a report HERE. The doctor was running a website and was featured speaking on national radio. The website is now not to be found and the book is not readily available. Medical errors happen everywhere; they are not unique to Ireland. In the USA and the UK, the responsible authorities collect statistics to find out why […]


How to read the “news” on medical negligence

According to the Irish Independent, a High Court judge (Judge Irvine) has urged “an overhaul of negligence cases”. The newspaper goes on to report what the judge actually said; that she believes “new protocols and rules of disclosure would lead to early resolution and early admission of liability when justified” [in “medical negligence” cases]. There are two ideas in the judge’s beliefs, both good; that early resolution and early admission of liability are desirable goals, and that new protocols and […]


The Ambulance Service

Medical negligence is somewhat of a specialist area for lawyers. Not every solicitor will firstly recognise a culpable act of commission or omission by a medical person and secondly will know how to create a case that will win in court. The ambulance service, the humblest element of the health care system is the exception to this. When you call for an ambulance, you need it urgently, usually. The despatcher will, usually, elicit the cause or nature of the emergency […]


Beaumont Hospital and infections

Unwashed hands under UV light

HIQA has reported on the wholesale failure of staff in Beaumont hospital to wash their hands. (A pdf of their report is available here) The staff knows, in theory, about the germ theory of disease but like everybody else they experience its apparent refutation. We are surrounded by bacteria, we live in a sea of bacteria and few of us are seriously damaged by them. Why, then, is it unacceptable to fail to wash your hands? The answer lies in […]


A Death in Hospital

The Vatican is an uncivilised place. A place is uncivilised if a person may die and the cause of death remains unexplained. This happened on the death, in the Vatican, of Albino Luciani, Pope John Paul I, in 1978. He was Pope for one month. What if he had died in Ireland? Depending on the circumstances there would be an inquest. An inquest is an inquiry by a coroner into the causes and circumstances of certain deaths. A death such […]



We are a firm of lawyers. Our website should deal with legal subjects. Hopefully, we do not lapse from that rule and, without going to the trouble of conducting an audit, we think we do not. It’s a broad rule and allows us to write (polemically if necessary) about such diverse topics as road accidents,  accidents at work,  medical negligence,  planning act infringements and fingerprints. We could, if necessary, even comment on Bilbo Baggins’ contract with the dwarves at the […]


How to read a newspaper (continued)

Noted in the Irish Times, 2nd February 2013, page 6. “Eoin was born in moderate condition at 6.35 am on July 30th, 2002, without any inherent defect or genetic abnormality, as the hospital, among various claims, had alleged”. This sentence means the hospital alleged Eoin … “was without any inherent defect or genetic abnormality”. This cannot have been the case; there would have been no proceedings, for the newspaper to report, otherwise. IT SHOULD READ: “Eoin was born in moderate […]


Medical Negligence and the Doctors’ bill

Medical negligence is a serious problem in Ireland. It needs to be treated in a serious manner.


Injured? What to do. (3)

Litigation needs an engine; that is, something must drive the process forwards. For a personal injury victim that engine is, normally, the persistent fact of the injury. From the medical point of view this will imply difficulty coming up with a prognosis. A prognosis is a doctor’s estimate of the progress (or lack of it) expected of the patient.


Medical Negligence – the Statute of Limitations

Medical Negligence Statute of Limitations * in Ireland Illustrated by a clock

There are no extensions of time available for victims of medical negligence, unlike victims of road traffic accidents who get extensions of time in the Personal Injuries Assessment Board system.