Children’s Health Ireland apologises to family of Ciara Lawlor

by Gary Ibbotson

Children’s Health Ireland (CHI) at Crumlin has apologised to the parents of Ciara Lawlor (17), at an inquest into the death of the teenager after she collapsed at a Kodaline concert in 2016.

Dublin’s Coroner Court heard that the teenager had a rare underlying heart condition that was only diagnosed at autopsy.

After the inquest, Ciara’s mother, Eimear Lawlor, said that “Crumlin [children’s hospital] has apologies for its systems failure and indicated to the coroner they will address these.

“I’m glad this has happened, because Ciara was a fighter and she would have wanted this to be done, so we did this for her.

“She always was a fighter. She was a lovely person, she really was.”

Paediatric Cardiologist at Crumlin, Professor Colin McMahon, said that a stress test had been ordered when Ciara was admitted to the hospital, but ultimately it was not carried out due to a systems error.

Professor McMahon said that the stress test could have helped diagnose the condition.

The inquest heard that Ciara suffered from heart palpitations and dizziness, but did not display any of the clinical symptoms associated with Arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy, known as ARVC.

Crumlin Hospital said it is reviewing its internal communications policy, which Coroner Dr Myra Cullinane endorsed.

Dr Cullinane also recommended that hospitals give patients written information on medications and their side effects to avoid confusion.

On July 8, 2016, Ciara had travelled by bus from Kilkenny to Dublin for the Kodaline concert at Marlay Park with a group of friends.

Her friend, Evelyn Murphy, said: “Ciara was behind me, she was fine, she’d made no complaints about how she was feeling.

“She fell kind of sideways, it wasn’t a hard fall and as soon as she fell she was brought to the barrier and lifted over by security.”

Paramedics commenced chest compressions and Ciara was transferred to an ambulance at 11.17pm.

The ambulance arrived at Tallaght University Hospital at 11:35pm. However, medics could not save Ciara’s life and she was pronounced dead at 12:23am.

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