Irish president intervenes in row over Savita Halappanavar death inquiry

Support for Savita

Labour Senator Ivan Bacik today said there was a "great deal of disquiet" among her party colleagues about the way the "inquiry has been handled" and the lack of trust which had arisen as the probe unfolded.

It was "very hard to see how inquiry can continue" without the cooperation of the family, she told Morning Ireland on RTE Radio.

Higgins' comments were "very diplomatically framed" and "timely," she said.

On the same programme, Sinn Fein party's health spokesman Caoimhghin O Caolain said Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Enda Kenny should meet Praveen directly and his "wishes acceded to as best as physically achievable."

Minister for Health James Reilly conceded yesterday the HSE investigation could lack a "completeness of information" if Praveen maintains his refusal to cooperate.

Reilly's approach now is to seek an interim report from the investigation team before Christmas and then to decide what further action is needed.

Speaking to RTE's Prime Time last night, Praveen repeated his lack of confidence in the HSE to carry out any investigation into his wife's death.

"These people are salaried by the HSE," he said. "They pay them. We think that there would be some kind of bias during the investigation."

He said he and his wife were told by medical staff that a termination on medical grounds was not possible as a foetal heartbeat was present and due to Ireland being a "Catholic country."

"We just can't believe that in the 21st century."

Savita had been 17 weeks pregnant and her husband says she repeatedly asked for a termination but was refused because a foetal heartbeat was present.

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