Savita’s parents call for public inquiry into death

The parents of Savita Halappanavar have called on the Government to carry out a public inquiry into the death of their daughter.

The call comes after the Irish Examiner revealed yesterday that the family had given the Government a deadline of three days to agree to an independent public inquiry or face a European Court battle.

Speaking from India yesterday, Ms Halappanavar’s father Andanappa Yalagi said his family was unhappy with the progress made so far and they didn’t trust the HSE investigation.

"We would like to appeal to the Irish government to please consider a public inquiry. We are not happy with the progress made so far. We do not trust the HSE investigation," he said.

However, health minister James Reilly said the HSE inquiry would have to proceed, despite Praveen Halappanavar’s warning that he would take his battle for a public inquiry to Europe.

"I absolutely respect Mr Halappanavar’s right to pursue the course that he feels is necessary from his perspective," Dr Reilly said.

"I have to however make sure that this internal investigation in the HSE is carried out as expeditiously as possible because women’s health is at stake here.

"I have to be assured, as the women of the west of Ireland need to be reassured, the services available in the maternity unit in Galway University Hospital are safe.

"I’d point out, I suppose, in that context, just to reassure people, that we haven’t had a maternal death until this terrible tragedy for nearly 17 years."

The minister said the HSE investigation was "critically important" and that the separate Hiqa inquiry added another dimension.

When the results of both were in, "we’ll be in a better position to know what actions to take at that point in time", he added.