News & Insights: Healthcare

O’Reilly Stewart Appointed to Muckamore Abbey Hospital Inquiry

4 January 2022

We at ORS Healthcare are honoured and humbled to have been appointed by the Chair of the Muckamore Abbey Hospital Inquiry, Mr Tom Kark QC,  to assist persons who may wish to contribute to the Inquiry .

The core objectives of the Inquiry are to examine the issue of abuse of patients at Muckamore Abbey Hospital, to determine why the abuse happened and the range of circumstances that allowed it to happen, and to ensure that such abuse does not occur again at Muckamore Abbey Hospital, or at any other institution providing similar services in Northern Ireland.

In his up-to-date statement of December 2021, the Chair has indicated that we have now been appointed to provide preliminary advice to those persons who may wish to avail of it as to whether or not they should apply for core participant status in the Inquiry.

In simple terms, a person warrants core participant status if that person played or may have played a direct and significant role in relation to the matters to which the Inquiry relates, has a significant interest in an important aspect of the matters to which the Inquiry relates, or that person may be subject to explicit or significant criticism during inquiry proceedings.  If such persons meet those criteria, then it will be for the Chair to consider whether it would be fair to designate core participant status to that person having regard to the need to avoid unnecessary cost.

In providing such advice, it is important to note that we will be acting entirely independently of the Inquiry and will represent the individual rather than the organisation.  The Chair has indicated that not every witness requires to be represented by a lawyer, nor does every witness require to be a core participant.  Ultimately it will be for the Chair to consider each application for core participant status and for legal funding.

If you, or any of your relatives have been affected by the issues, the subject matter of the Inquiry, then please do not hesitate to contact our Healthcare Team at

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