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Around Ireland Husband died after hospital refusal

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

By Patrick Markey

A Limerick widow whose husband died of a brain hemorrhage after he was refused admission to a regional Hospital has won a major victory in the Supreme Court.

The woman’s solicitor has said the judgment will change the admissions procedures to hospitals all over the country, the Limerick Leader reports.

"I have no doubt if he was treated in time, he would be here with us today," said Carmel Collins of Woodview Park, whose husband, Jim, died in a Cork hospital.

"The said fact is that none of this will bring Jim back. I resent the fact that we were put through so much pain and torture to prove what seems so obvious to all of us," said the mother of three.

Collins has successfully sued the Health Board and Dr. Ray O’Connor of Woodview for negligence. O’Connor initially treated her husband.

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Collins lost her first case in the High Court and risked losing her home and all her possessions and costs were awarded against her.

"This has been going on for eight and a half years, and I could not have got through it without the support of my family, friends, neighbors and legal team," she said after the court decision.

Her 42-year-old husband was refused admission to the hospital even though a second GP who examined him suggesting he be admitted.

"The hospital admissions system must now change when a GP gives a strongly worded letter to a patient. The patient cannot be sent home until he is first seen by a consultant," Collins’ solicitor, Frances Twomey, said.

Blade ban

After a surge in knife attacks in Dublin, campaigners are calling on Ireland’s minister for justice, John O’Donoghue, to enforce a "Bin the Blade" campaign in an attempt to clamp down on the number of stabbings in the city.

Similar campaigns are currently underway in Manchester, Liverpool and London.

The Southside People newspaper reports that the Dublin campaign, which is being proposed by councilor Tony Kelly, is aimed at highlighting danger posed by knife attacks.

"There’s an immediate need for radical reform of the 1994 Firearms and Offenses of Weapons Act to effectively tackle the increasing incidents of death and mutilation in our society as a result of knife attacks," he stated.

"Anyone young or old can purchase a knife of any shape or size in order to exaggerate their ‘macho’ image. These weapons have no other purpose but to cause injury or death to fellow human beings," Kelly said.

"It is no exaggeration to say that the knife has now become the preferred weapon of destruction and is involved in mutilation, rape and murder in Dublin."

Sleepy math

Dubliner Dr. John Cosgrove has managed to break one of the world’s most difficult math problems — all while he slept soundly in his bed.

A lecturer at St. Patrick’s College, Drumcondra, Cosgrove has discovered a prime number — a number divisible by only itself and one — with exactly 2,000 digits, quite by accident, reports the Irish Times newspaper.

While preparing a class for his students, Cosgrave needed to identify "some pretty big primes" to demonstrate the application of the ideas of Henry Cabourn Pocklington.

"I have a computer that can do these calculations and I set it to calculating large prime numbers," he said.

"I started off with my birthday and it found some pretty impressive ones with 900 or so digits, but I wanted to break the 1,000 digit barrier and I was prepared to leave the computer calculating away for a few weeks.

But when he came down for breakfast one morning, Cosgrove discovered the computer had broken the 1,000-digit barrier and much to his surprise, it had managed to uncover a prime number with exactly 2,000 digits.

Surprisingly, Cosgrove’s wife was apparently unable to generate quite the same enthusiasm as her excited husband.

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