Family to take High Court action over son’s death

A Limerick family is to go to High Court to seek answers as to why their very depressed loved one was not admitted to University Hospital Limerick after being sent there by his GP with a letter recommending treatment.

Ross Minihan

Ross Minihan, a 37-year-old security man, went to the emergency department of UHL on December 17, 2015 after seeing his GP.

He went missing the following day when last seen near the River Shannon. He was known to mental health services in Limerick and had previously been admitted to the acute psychiatric unit at UHL.

When he went to the hospital on December 17, 2015, he was not admitted and allowed home.

Three months later on March 29, 2016, his body was washed up on a West Clare beach.

Now his family are planning to go to the High Court to seek answers as to why the hospital did not take action when handed the GP’s letter.

His father, Michael Minihan, a retired CIÉ worker of Sycamore Avenue, Rathabane, said: “After a few hours in the hospital he was not admitted. He came home and went to his room. He was very quiet. The following morning he was not in his room. His body was washed up on the beach the following March. We want to know why he was not admitted. I was in Dublin on the day he went to his GP, December 17 and told him I’d go to the hospital the following day. But he wanted to go straight away and went out to the hospital himself.

“He was very disturbed at the time and had been in 5B [acute psychiatric wing] some years previously. I have no doubt he would have been alive the following day if he had been admitted.”

Ross, who has two young children from a previous relationship, had been residing at the family home.

Solicitor Ronan Hynes said: “After he was medically examined he was discharged on the same day. After going home, unfortunately in the middle of the night, it is believed he went into the river. His body was recovered the following March. An inquest recorded an open verdict into Ross’s death.

“The family feel Ross and they were incredibly let down by the health service. The family want justice for Ross and are taking a High Court case of wrongful death over the failure of the health care provider, the HSE.”

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