Omeath family receives apology letter from HSE after daughter's death from ovarian cancer

Michael and Sheelagh Mullany told how their daughter was "failed by the HSE"

Tia Clarke


Tia Clarke


Omeath family receives apology letter from HSE after daughter's death from ovarian cancer

Our Lady of Lourdes hospital in Drogheda

A Louth family has spoken out after a cancer misdiagnosis by the HSE led to their daughter's untimely death.

Michael Mullany (83), who is a retired Garda sergeant and his wife Sheelagh from Omeath, told The Irish Sun how their daughter Antoinette Mullany, was "failed by the HSE".  

The family, who said they decided to speak out in the aftermath of the latest cervical smear scandal, revealed how Antoinette who worked as a gaelscoil teacher in Louth, visited the Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Drogheda in June 2011, with stomach pains.

The Lourdes went on to misdiagnose the teacher's condition which led to her death in July 2012 of Ovarian cancer.

The family of the teacher, who was just 35 years old at the time of her passing, has since received a letter from the HSE, who admitted to the failure. 

Speaking to The Irish Sun, the family told how they wanted to speak out to other families in similar situations in light of the recent cervical smear scandal.

In the interview, Antoinette's dad Michael called for an urgent reform of the Irish healthcare system so that families would not have to “battle” to uncover what happened to their loved ones.

Mr. Mullany, who previously worked with murdered Garda Tony Golden, praised whistleblower Vicky Phelan, who exposed the HSE's cover up with the cervical smear test results. 

He said: “If Vicky Phelan had signed the confidentiality agreement there wouldn’t be a word. Everything was bottled up . . . there is a lack of concern, for patient concern. It is deny and defend.

“I cannot see why they would deny the information to the patient concerned. The patient should be the first person to be notified. This controversy has brought it all back for us.”

The young Louth teacher, who had been in full health previously, had been told by Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital she was suffering from endometriosis. 

The Omeath man also spoke in praise of his wife Sheelagh, who battled with the HSE for two years to get answers on their daughter's death.

Michael added: “We have suffered the loss of Antoinette. If they had come forward and explained themselves, but I find it very hurtful that they didn’t.

“There should be more responsibility put on individuals to account for what they did or didn’t do. This undoubtedly adversely affected her opportunity for different treatment options.” 

Read the full interview at: