Colman Cassidy is a writer and journalist etc
Hi Mr Cassidy
Just came across an acticle written by you in June 1979 entitled ‘Doctors Dilemma in Cavan’ . This was about the Cavan Co Surgeon Dr Boulos Hanna who had been charged with culpable negligence in the care and treatment of his patients at Cavan Hospital. The young man mentioned in your article called John Farrelly was my brother and we desperately tried to highlight his case with the Health Board at the time, but as his files had been destroyed in Cavan Hospital deliberately we could never pursue the matter. It was so strange to come across your article last week and just wonder if you ever investigated this matter further and if so you could maybe shed some further light on my brothers death at the hands of this so called Doctor.
I am sorry for annoying you about this but the thought of his death and the way he died never goes away and if you could be of any further help to us regarding above we would be so grateful to hear from you.
Rose Carry/Helen Dunne (Sisters of John Farrelly)
Apologies for the delay in getting back to you: it’s been a while since I’ve looked at the Boulos Hanna file, and I didn’t want to give you a flippant reply.
Of course I remember the details well, and indeed, the sad loss of your brother, John – ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis. Very little has changed in Ireland in the past 40 years or so
as regards health boards (HSE) putting their hands up when faced with tragedy on this scale. The Cavan case was one of the first to the given the full media spotlight, which is something, but
there is very little more to add, at this stage, that can give you much comfort.
I made inquiries recently as regards Boulos Hanna. It seems that he died some years back and is buried in Cavan, along with his wife. Although it is nearly four decades now since I wrote
that article, which required a very courageous editor, indeed, (John Mulcahy) for it it be published, the events seem to have happened only yesterday – and I appreciate that is how it may seem
to siblings (such as yourself and Helen) related to a victim who died in tragic circumstances, as in John’s case.
You have whetted my appetite for further investigation, at any rate, and if there is anything more I can pass on, in the event, I shall do so. I’m sorry I can’t be more
helpful at the moment.
Kind regards to you both
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