Video: Cork woman settles case against HSE, Ó Ríordáin calls for honesty on drug use

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Man jailed following sting operation by vigilante group posing as teenage girl

A man who posed as a 13-year-old in WhatsApp conversations and was caught through a sting operation by an online vigilante group has been jailed for 16 months.

Robert Ashmore (54) later told gardaí he believed he was communicating with scammers, but Garda Nicola Duffy told Judge Martin Nolan that she did not accept this.


She explained that Child Protection Awareness and Justice Reborn were two groups that had communicated with Ashmore, via WhatsApp, while posing as a young teenager.

The groups provided gardaí with copies of over 2,000 WhatsApp exchanges between Ashmore and themselves, many of which were explicit in nature, and she believed that Ashmore “felt he was engaging in conversations with a 13-year-old”. The groups never provided witness statements to gardaí.

Ashmore, of The Gouldings, Ballymun, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to attempting to communicate with another person in order to facilitate the sexual exploitation of a child on dates between March 3rd, 2018 and April 23rd, 2018. He has no previous convictions.

Cork woman settles case against HSE over circumstances of her birth

A 25-year-old Cork woman with cerebral palsy who sued over the circumstances of her hospital birth has settled her action against the HSE for a total of €35.2 million.


The settlement in the case of Shauni Breen from Togher, Cork is the highest ever pay out in a personal injuries case alleging injury at birth.

She had sued the HSE over the circumstances of her birth at Wexford General Hospital in 1997. The settlement is without an admission of liability and the amount will be paid out in stages.

Mr Justice Paul Coffey approved a final settlement package of €33.25 million for the young woman in the High Court on Tuesday which, along with an interim payment of €1.95 million five years ago, brings the total final settlement in the case to €35.2 million.

Her counsel, Dr John O’Mahony SC with Cian O’Mahony BL, told the court it was a very sad and tragic case. Counsel said there was a lapse of 40 minutes between the delivery of Shauni and her twin sister, and that she suffered profound disabilities.


Family of baby who died after heart was pierced during hospital procedure settle action

The parents of a premature baby who died after her heart was accidentally pierced during a chest drain procedure at the Coombe Hospital has settled a High Court action over her death.

Laoise Kavanagh Ní Scolai, who was a twin, was only 42 hours and 27 minutes old when she died after her heart was penetrated with plastic tubing while an attempt was being made to insert a chest drain eight years ago.

The Coombe Women and Infants University Hospital, Dublin admitted liability in the case.

Her father Coilin Ó Scolai was close to tears in the High Court as he read a statement about the long and painful journey and the “long and arduous legal battle to uncover the truth” of how this happened to their daughter.


“This has been a very long and painful journey that could have been avoided. Something needs to change," he said.

Ó Ríordáin calls for honesty on drug use as Citizens' Assembly announced

Labour TD Aodhán Ó Ríordáin has called on politicians to be open on drug use, claiming "people from all walks of life take drugs."

Mr Ó Ríordáin was speaking as the Government today agreed to set up a Citizens' Assembly on drug use, a move that the Labour TD has long campaigned for.

The Citizens’ Assembly will be asked to consider the legislative, policy and operational changes the State could make to significantly reduce the harmful impalects of illicit drugs on individuals, families, communities and wider society.


Speaking on what needs to be done moving forward, Mr Ó Ríordáin has called for the attitude towards drug users to change in order to make progress.

"People in all walks of life, all professions, all income brackets, take drugs.

Gunmen storm Syrian hospital caring for baby girl born in earthquake rubble

Gunmen stormed a hospital in north Syria where a baby girl is receiving care after being born under the rubble of her family’s earthquake-shattered home, a hospital official said Tuesday, adding that the attackers beat the clinic’s director.

The official denied reports on social media claiming that the Monday night attack was an attempt to kidnap the infant, named Aya, Arabic for “a sign from God”.

Aya has been at the hospital since hours after the February 6th earthquake that hit Turkey and Syria.

Her mother, father and four siblings died in the disaster.

Aya has been closely followed since her birth and people from around the world have been offering to help her.

The official, who spoke condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals, said the hospital’s director had suspected that a nurse who was taking pictures of Aya was planning to kidnap her and kicked him out of the hospital.

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