Catherine Duggan, widow of deceased pro golfer and father of two Liam Duggan, has settled her action against the HSE for a substantial sum.

Catherine Duggan, widow of deceased pro golfer and father of two Liam Duggan, has settled her action against the HSE for a substantial sum.

Catherine Duggan, the wife of a pro golfer, and young father of two, Liam Duggan from Tralee, County Kerry who died due to substandard  care at the University Hospital Kerry in early 2017 has settled her action against the HSE for a substantial sum.


Today’s court ruling marks the end of a prolonged four year legal battle to find answers and fight for justice for Liam whose young children were just one and three years old when he died from septicaemia due to inadequate medical care.


Mrs Duggan’s legal team at HOMS Assist, Robert A. Bourke and Rachael O’Shaughnessy, together with learned Counsel, Eugene Gleeson SC and Abdulla Morgan Kamber BL successfully mediated the case on 1st July 2021, ruled in court today.


On 18th March 2017, Liam presented to University Hospital Kerry complaining of abdominal pain with vomiting and diarrhoea. He was discharged on 3rd of April with the HSE admitting that there was a breach of care in a failure to perform a repeat abdominal CT scan to investigate Mr Duggan’s condition before his discharge from hospital.


Nine days later, on 12th April, 2017, Liam was once again admitted via the A&E of the University Hospital Kerry with abdominal pain vomiting with diarrhoea, high temperature, high pulse and clear evidence of sepsis. He was gravely ill and was transferred to Cork University Hospital two days later. Sadly, Liam’s condition deteriorated further and he tragically passed away on 9th May 2017 at just 37 years of age.


Liam is remembered as a wonderful man, husband and father who endeared himself to everyone he encountered in life, schools, teachers, parents and students alike. Liam was a PGA advanced golf professional and was posthumously awarded the president’s award for golf development in 2017 for recognition of his tireless efforts and huge success in developing golf in schools and promoting inclusivity in Ireland.


Liam’s heartbroken widow Catherine Duggan described the impact of Liam’s untimely death on their family: “The tragic loss of Jack and Amelia’s dad at such an early age especially when that loss should not have happened left both children shattered,” she stated.


“Children should not have to face a tragedy like this. Liam adored Jack and Amelia. He was such a family man who was loved so much. His life revolved around both of them.”


Catherine was critical of the mismanagement of Liam’s care and the painful and prolonged battle for answers since his death which she thanked her legal team Homs Assist for supporting her with.


“I hope by bringing awareness today that it might save someone else’s life. The whole system and ordeal of having to face an inquest where the truth was not told and in my opinion covered up from the start has been utterly devastating for me and my children. We have had to fight tooth and nail to bring justice for Liam who should have been in the prime of his life.

Thank you also to my great legal team at HOMS Assist who invested so much time and effort in this fight for justice for Liam.”


“We have fought hard the last four years to get to today. The HSE’s mistakes have had a life changing effect on Liam’s family and friends who hopefully after today can get some peace from this decision and bring closure to them. After a four year legal battle I hope that Liam gets to rest in peace.”


Rachael O’Shaughnessy, solicitor from Homs Assist praised Catherine Duggan for her perseverance through the painful legal process to seek answers and justice for Liam.  

“Catherine has been exceptionally brave throughout this really painful process,” she stated.


“I first met Catherine when she was recently widowed and her determination to get answers during what has been an uphill battle has been an inspiration. Despite no open disclosure from the University Hospital Kerry and despite no answers from the inquest Catherine has been relentless in her quest to find out what happened to her husband, Liam. It is as a result of Catherine’s bravery and conviction and asking the right questions on behalf of her husband, herself and her children that I believe we are standing here today. It is so desperately sad that two young children have been left without a father, Catherine without a loving husband and a local community without an immense talent.”


“I am honoured that we at HOMS Assist could at least provide Catherine with the legal support needed to get answers to her questions. I’d like to thank Catherine once again for not giving up and I am glad that we at HOMS Assist have been able to help share Catherine and Liam’s story. I would also like to thank the medical experts involved in the case and barristers, Eugene Gleeson and Abdulla Morgan Kamber who helped achieve the successful mediation earlier this month.”


An apology issued to Catherine and her children on behalf of the HSE from Fearghal Grimes, the General Manager of University Hospital Kerry stated:“University Hospital Kerry would like to acknowledge the deficits of care which resulted in the untimely death of your husband and father, Liam. We recognise that this loss has had a profound and devastating effect on you and your family. I wish to offer my heartfelt apologies for the shortcomings in the care provided and for the distress suffered by you, Jack and Amelia.”

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