Ms Y settles court challenge to stop HSE inquiry

The woman at the centre of an abortion controversy last year has settled her High Court challenge aimed at stopping a HSE inquiry into the care provided to her by various State agencies.

The woman, who can only be referred to as Ms Y, will now go ahead with her civil action for damages.

Ms Y, an asylum-seeker, arrived in Ireland in early 2014. She had been raped in her home country and subsequently discovered she was pregnant. She sought an abortion on the grounds of feeling suicidal. Despite seeing a number of agencies, the pregnancy was well advanced by the time her case was assessed by a three-doctor panel.

She had a caesarean section against her initial wishes, and the child was placed in State care. As a result, a HSE inquiry was set up. Welcoming the settlement, Ms Y’s representatives said in a statement afterwards that the HSE had agreed “to effectively quash a draft report” complied after an inquiry was established to examine the response of the State and other agencies in the case.

Her lawyers had argued that the manner in which the HSE inquiry was conducted, which she has been unable to participate in due to her ill health, breached her rights to fair procedures and constitutional justice.

Ms Y, sought an order from the High Court halting the inquiry, begun in August 2014. She also sought an order quashing a draft report concerning her case allegedly “leaked to media”.

The HSE had opposed the application. The three-day action was due to commence before the High Court yesterday. However, following talks between the parties High Court president Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns was told by Richard Kean, counsel for Ms Y, the matter could be struck out, with no further order required.

Maurice Collins, counsel for the HSE, said his client was consenting to the matter being struck out. A statement on behalf of Ms Y confirmed her delight that “it was not necessary to proceed with the judicial review proceedings against the HSE”.

The statement said “the HSE have confirmed it will not publish, circulate within the HSE, or disclose to any third party the so-called draft report into her care, and that the report will never be used in a manner that infringes Ms Y’s legal rights”.

The proceedings were brought to quash the report, which has no effectively been achieved.

“Ms Y feels vindicated in her refusal to ever accept the draft report or any of its findings. Ms Y will now move forward and advance her case for damages expeditiously” the statement concluded.


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