Press release

HSE CEO announces new investigation into tragic death of Aoife Johnston at University Hospital Limerick

Published: 18 December 2023

Updated: 29 January 2024

The CEO of the HSE has considered the report received this month in respect of the death of Aoife Johnston, a 16 year old girl who died at University Hospital Limerick. The report is significant in its findings about the care of Aoife and the operation of the hospital.

Having considered all of the matters, the CEO is satisfied that questions of accountability need to be addressed.

Commenting on the decision Bernard Gloster said:

“I have appointed the former Chief Justice Mr Justice Frank Clarke (retired) to conduct a formal investigation into all of these matters, to make findings and to report to me. The outcome of this investigation will inform any further decisions to be made.

There are many situations in health and social care where analysis of adverse incidents can glean learnings for improvement. There are also situations where clearly further investigation is required and I am satisfied this is one of those. I intend to finalise the Terms of Reference in the coming weeks and have asked Mr Justice Clarke to conduct a timely but thorough investigation.

I will not be in a position to provide any further details at this time, but again take the opportunity on behalf of the HSE, at the time of her first anniversary to apologise unreservedly to Aoife’s family, recognising no words of mine can ever take away their loss. I do however assure them that the issues raised in the report will be investigated thoroughly.”

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