Leo Varadkar to meet childbirth widowers

Health Minister Leo Varadkar has invited the widowers of two women who died following childbirth at Sligo Regional Hospital, to meet him.

The meeting with Michael Kivlehan from Dromahair, Co Leitrim, and Sean Rowlette, from Dromore West, Co Sligo, will take place in Dublin on Monday,

The men, who will be accompanied by their solicitor Roger Murray, revealed they are regularly contacted by people worried about the state of our maternity services.

Mr Kivlehan said he had been getting calls “from all over the country” from people who had read what had happened to his wife Dhara and to Sally Rowlette, and who were scared as a result. “I am not in a position to give advice. We don’t have any answers,” said Mr Kivlehan. “My point is that I am not a professional. I want to hear from the minister what he proposes.”

Mr Rowlette said he was pleased with the approach from the minister so quickly after the inquest into his wife’s death. “I do feel that if the inquest into Dhara’s death had happened faster, Sligo hospital would have known how to deal with Sally’s case. But it took four years for them to realise what had gone wrong,” he said.

Dhara Kivlehan, 28, died in a Belfast hospital in September 2010, nine days after the couple’s first baby Dior was born in Sligo Regional Hospital, but the inquest into her death was not held for four years. Sally Rowlette, 36, died in the hospital in February 2013, the day after her fourth child was born there. The inquest into her death was held last month.

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