McGinley family: A six year quest for truth
The family of the Strabane pensioner who sustained 34 mysterious post-mortem fractures held a vigil at Altnagelvin Hospital to mark the sixth anniversary of her death last week.
Maureen McGinley, formerly of Orchard Street, Strabane, died on Ward 20 in the hospital after a short illness on January 3, 2007. The 78 year old, mother of eight, had been treated for pneumonia and passed away from natural causes. The coroner then discovered that Mrs. McGinley sustained 34 fractures to her rib cage and neck after her death. At no time had resuscitation been attempted on the pensioner.
“These questions, these fears still hang over the family,” said Maureen’s son Martin McGinley. “We don’t know what happened. We don’t want people to forget what happened to our mammy as we still don’t know what happened to her or how those injuries were caused. Our fear is that this could happen again and again.”
“We go through these emotions at this time of year every year. I hate the holidays, the run up to Christmas and the New Year, if they (health authorities) got off their backsides and gave us some answers on the record we could at least put our mother to rest.”
According to Martin those emotions “have not waned over the last six years. We know it happened in the hospital but they wont tell us what really happened on the night mammy died.”
The family are currently awaiting a response from the Minister for Health Edwin Poots following a meeting with him late last year. Martin said: “We are waiting on Minister Poots to respond, hopefully in mid-January. I hope he carries out an enquiry into the incident and allows our wee mammy to rest in peace. It is taking a toll on the family but we will not go away. We need to find out what happened. “We are delighted the Minister is showing an interest if nothing else.”
A Department of Health spokeswoman said: “The department is carefully considering the issues raised by the McGinley family and the minister will be in contact with the family in the near future.”
The last official correspondence between the McGinley family and the Health Trust was four years ago. However the family have since met with a number of employees who told them, unofficially, what happened.
“Those accounts suggest that a number of boxes were placed on top of Mrs. McGinley as her remains were transferred from the ward to the morgue. “There are too many inconsistencies in what the official reports suggested. That was clear from day one,” said an emotional Mr. McGinley. “From the initial delay in informing the family of the details to the Trust insisting that the injuries occurred outside the hospital.
“We just want to know the truth.”
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Sunday 19 May 2013
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