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Mother of Gallagher girls to sue Donegal VEC


Sync

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Mother of tragic sisters sues school authority - National News - Independent.ie

THE mother of tragic sisters Erin and Shannon Gallagher is planning to launch legal proceedings against education authorities and the HSE.

Mrs Gallagher (36) has threatened to launch legal proceedings against Donegal VEC for negligence and breach of duty.

A letter on behalf of Mrs Gallagher was sent to Donegal VEC by Gallagher & Brennan Solicitors on December 4 -- days before Erin's older sister took her own life.
This seems folly.

So the case will revolve around Erin which is at least a bit sensible but...hypothetically if there is a feeling that the VEC/HSE are responsible, then it becomes a discussion on how much they're responsible and what else may have played a part.

Which means every family conversation, every angry utterance, every email, facebook message, text that the girl sent is in play.

Why did the other daughter end in foster care, what were those foster parents told by Shannon about the family life, do the social services bear responsibility for not getting involved in the family earlier etc etc etc.

There's no time pressure on this, to initiate it now, when feelings are still raw, seems very poorly advised.

Solicitor Patsy Gallagher said last night that his office has still not received a reply to the letter sent to Donegal VEC.

But Mr Purcell of Donegal VEC said: "Our energies are going into helping the people who need our support at present.

"Of course we have sympathy for the Gallagher family, but we cannot speak about a legal issue at this time," he said.
Of course the VEC aren't going to reply. You're suing them. Everything's going to go through their counsel.

A quote from the letter:

“The aforementioned intended action arises because of negligence, breach of duty, including breach of statutory duty by you, your servants and/or agents, in the administration, supervision, control, management, running and operation of Finn Valley College and your duty of care to create and provide a safe, supervised, monitored, controlled working environment for all students attending this school.

“From our instructions it is quite clear that Erin Gallagher, deceased, was subjected on a weekly basis to a persistent, prolonged, aggressive campaign of both mental and physical torture, bullying, abuse, harassment, assaults and intimidation and was afforded little, if any, protection by you, your servants and/or agents,” says the letter.
Last night the mother, speaking about the death of Erin in the family home said:

“She tried to take her own life and yet she was allowed to walk home from school that day. That school failed her. They knew she was vulnerable. How could they allow her to walk home?”
So....she was fine leaving the school, she was fine on the way home, she then kills herself at home and the contention is that the VEC bear responsibility for allowing her to go home.
 
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Eoin Coir

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Has the mother any responsibility herself ? Were some of those unfortunate children not in foster care? The priest said at funeral (Fr. Duffy) has a go at everyone inc state and HSE. Did he preach about parental responsibility and duties ?
 

daveL

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I hope it's a case of grief clouding the judgement of that mother...
 

tigerben

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This will just put more spotlight on th family, and prolong an all ready horrible situation. The solicitors should have told the Mother to wait a few months, raw grief will have you blame every one, it's easier to deal with death when you can point a finger.
 

Eoin Coir

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This will just put more spotlight on th family, and prolong an all ready horrible situation. The solicitors should have told the Mother to wait a few months, raw grief will have you blame every one, it's easier to deal with death when you can point a finger.
and lawyers see an opening ?
 

Kev408

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This will just put more spotlight on th family, and prolong an all ready horrible situation. The solicitors should have told the Mother to wait a few months, raw grief will have you blame every one, it's easier to deal with death when you can point a finger.
She did wait a few months after the death of the first girl. The solicitor's letter to the VEC was sent days before Erin's older sister died. Still, I don't see this as being a well-advised move.
 

The Field Marshal

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Has the mother any responsibility herself ? Were some of those unfortunate children not in foster care? The priest said at funeral (Fr. Duffy) has a go at everyone inc state and HSE. Did he preach about parental responsibility and duties ?
The priests remarks were totally out of line. I expect were he burying Adam Lanza he would have absolved him of all personal responsibility and blamed society as well.
 

True Republican

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the catholic church has destagmatised suicide in recent decades, hence the massive rise in the number of suicides in the last few decades. Committing suicide is selfish.
 

Vega1447

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I hadn't known that one of the girls had been in foster care.

If the family take a case I hope that the case is vigorously defended.

This looks like an attempt to cash in on a tragedy - at the expense of the taxpayer.

Is Mrs Gallagher widowed/divorced/separated? I haven't seen mention of a husband/father.
 

mickterry

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the catholic church has destagmatised suicide in recent decades, hence the massive rise in the number of suicides in the last few decades. Committing suicide is selfish.
That is a disgraceful comment. Until and unless you are touched by a tragedy like suicide, you can have no idea. My family have had a suicide and it was not in any way selfish. Mental health plus alcohol abuse were the primary factors.
 

The Field Marshal

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the catholic church has destagmatised suicide in recent decades, hence the massive rise in the number of suicides in the last few decades. Committing suicide is selfish.
That's a little blunt don't you think? Destigmatizing suicide was probably a good idea . What's not a good idea is targeting and blaming 3 rd parties almost exclusively for what has happened . Suicide is morally wrong and those who chose such a path must bear a certain amount of responsibility for what they have done and the suffering they cause to their families
 

b.a. baracus

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the catholic church has destagmatised suicide in recent decades, hence the massive rise in the number of suicides in the last few decades. Committing suicide is selfish.
Doofus.

What is destagmatism anyway? Knocking the b&lls off a deer?
 
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Ulster-Lad

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I hadn't known that one of the girls had been in foster care.

If the family take a case I hope that the case is vigorously defended.

This looks like an attempt to cash in on a tragedy - at the expense of the taxpayer.

Is Mrs Gallagher widowed/divorced/separated? I haven't seen mention of a husband/father.
The girl went into care apparently because of the death of her sister. It was a voluntary measure by the family to try to help her cope apparently. There is also a 3rd child, a 4 year old, in the home.

Lorraine said her eldest daughter’s personality completely changed when Erin died.

“It was as if she became a different person overnight. She completely changed as a person.


“She would answer back and didn’t care about anything. She was also self-harming,” revealed Lorraine.


Shannon was admitted to voluntary care with a foster family in Castlefin with Lorraine’s consent as the family struggled to cope.
SUICIDE GIRLS’ MUM LAUNCHES LEGAL CASE AGAINST SCHOOL AUTHORITIES | Donegal Daily
 

mickterry

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That's a little blunt don't you think? Destigmatizing suicide was probably a good idea . What's not a good idea is targeting and blaming 3 rd parties almost exclusively for what has happened . Suicide is morally wrong and those who chose such a path must bear a certain amount of responsibility for what they have done and the suffering they cause to their families
Morally wrong? Do you think that a person that is in so much despair that they are contemplating suicide, the are concerned about the morality. In the name of God, where is your compassion.
 

RobertW

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The issue of bullying is not taken seriously in Ireland. . . Right across all sectors of society.

Sure there are a few helplines but that's about it.

I believe a case like this is interesting as if a child is bullied (verbal or physical) then responsibility lies with someone or some authority. If the child is under the care of a school or VEC then what precisely is wrong with legal action if it can be proven that the school was negligent in its duty of care towards that child?

The law, however, is not on the side of the bullied as schools find it virtually impossible to expel students . . . Which is what should happen to bullies.

If this is the case then legal action should be considered against the Minister and/or the parents or guardian of the bully.
 

The Field Marshal

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Morally wrong? Do you think that a person that is in so much despair that they are contemplating suicide, the are concerned about the morality. In the name of God, where is your compassion.
To end ones life requires an act of will that contravenes the basic law of personal survival. Unless sombody is certifiably insane then such actions must be deemed to have been freely undertaken . Your view appears to be that people who commit suicide have every right to do so . I would therefor ask where is your compassion for those left behind and where is your sense of responsibility since you are promoting a climate of opinion wherin suicide is somehow an acceptable act.?
 

The Field Marshal

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The issue of bullying is not taken seriously in Ireland. . . Right across all sectors of society.

Sure there are a few helplines but that's about it.

I believe a case like this is interesting as if a child is bullied (verbal or physical) then responsibility lies with someone or some authority. If the child is under the care of a school or VEC then what precisely is wrong with legal action if it can be proven that the school was negligent in its duty of care towards that child?

The law, however, is not on the side of the bullied as schools find it virtually impossible to expel students . . . Which is what should happen to bullies.

If this is the case then legal action should be considered against the Minister and/or the parents or guardian of the bully.
Rubbish. You might as well try argue that society is to blame for the fact that murders kill
 

goosebump

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the catholic church has destagmatised suicide in recent decades, hence the massive rise in the number of suicides in the last few decades. Committing suicide is selfish.
Suicide often appears as selfish, but ultimately, its a mental health issue.

That said, I do think its important that we do everything possible to limit the "appeal" of suicide.

For instance, starting Facebook pages to remember victims probably isn't a good idea.

Very hard to do this and deal with family grief, however.
 
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