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Posted in [Blog] on Wednesday, December 1st, 2021

Our firm has recently received a number of enquires from concerned parents of young people who have attended South Kerry CAMHS.  In summary, concerns arose (via a whistle blower as I understand it) about the appropriateness of the care afforded to some young people attending South Kerry CAMHS and in particular, about the possibility that some may have been over prescribed medication. On foot of these concerns, the HSE decided to review the treatment of these young people who attended South Kerry CAMHS between July 2016 and April 2021. While I understand that the review is complete and it involved the reviewing the files of upwards of 1,500 young people, the report has not yet issued, but is expected to issue sometime in late November/December 2021.

In the last number of weeks, a number of the children’s parents were  invited to meet with the HSE to discuss the care provided to their children. At these meetings, our clients tell us that  there were admissions made in respect of the failings in the care and they were advised to get legal advice.

I would strongly advise anyone affected to contact a solicitor with experience in medical negligence. Medical Negligence is a specific and difficult area. If there was inappropriate care and treatment afforded to your child, and as a consequence of that inappropriate treatment he/she suffered injury, he/she may well have a personal injuries claim against the HSE.   However, in order to successfully prosecute such a claim, appropriate expert doctors must confirm that there was negligence and that the negligence caused over and above injury.

Depending on the contents of the review report, it may be the case that the HSE will put some form of redress scheme in place.  Your Solicitor can advise you as to the appropriateness of any such scheme.

There are time limits within which to bring personal injury actions here in Ireland.  The general rule is proceedings must issue within two years from the date of the negligence.  There are exceptions, one of them being where the injured person is a minor (under the age of 18) and I understand that this is the case with the young people affected here  and so the two years will not begin to run until the day they turns 18.

The investigation of any medical negligence case however is timely and a number of steps are involved to include the taking up of records from treating practitioners and there can be lengthy delays in the releasing of these records so I would advise those concerned to consult with a Solicitor sooner rather than later.

Our offices are located at 39 South Mall, Cork. We do, however, represent clients from all over Ireland. Should you be unable to attend our offices, we are more than happy to travel to you, or conduct the meeting on Zoom.

Contact us at Cantillons Solicitors at Cork  +353 (0)21 4275673 or Dublin +353 (0)1 264 1802 or email  if you would like more information.

* In contentious business, a Solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement. Many Personal Injury Solicitors portray themselves as “no win no fee Solicitors Cork” or “no win no fee Solicitors Dublin”. This term can be misleading and it is essential that you discuss fees with the Medical Negligence Solicitor you ultimately choose. At Cantillons Solicitors, we are entirely transparent

Karen Kearney



In her twenty years as a practising solicitor, Karen has worked with a number of leading law firms in Limerick and Cork where she has acquired extensive experience in all areas of the law, with a particular expertise in medical negligence cases.

Karen has represented clients effectively in many forums including the District Court, Circuit Court, High Court, Employment Tribunals and Coroner’s Court. She has acted for, and advised, State Bodies in respect of all areas of the law to include childcare law; employment issues; food safety and health and safety issues.

Karen joined Cantillons Solicitors in November 2009 and works in the Medical Negligence Department practising clinical negligence litigation.  She is expertly assisted by Patricia Sisk and April Wiseman, Legal Assistants.

She is very proud to be a member of the medical negligence team which  has been involved in precedent-setting  cases since 1980 and which received the inaugural award of Litigation Team of the Year, National Irish Bank Law Awards in 2012.

Karen regularly attends international conferences in order to add to  her pool of her experts and ensure access to the world’s best. She is also regularly asked to speak at national and international conferences concerning medico-legal issues. She is a regular speaker at the annual Medical Law Conference; giving presentations on healthcare law, practice and procedure to employees in the healthcare section and fellow lawyers. This lecturing experience means that Karen has an excellent grasp of law in theory as well as in practice.

Karen has featured on national television and on local and national radio  in relation to this specialised area of medical negligence litigation.She has been commissioned to write opinion pieces on topical issues in the medical negligence area, published in national newspapers. Notably, she first highlighted in the Irish Examiner, the Minister for Health’s failure to introduce a statutory Duty of Candour-  a legal requirement for medical staff, nurses and management to tell patients and their families if a mistake has been made which adversely affects the patient’s health – despite the Minister’s promise to do so.

Karen also writes a weekly column in a local daily newspaper, the Evening Echo, addressing reader’s legal queries. This column  appears in Monday’s edition of the paper.

Karen has developed real expertise in her field and has shown great dedication in pursuing complex injury cases to settlement.

Karen gets referrals from patients nationwide. She represents her patients with determination and compassion.


  • BCL Honours 1992
  • Admitted to the Roll of Solicitors in Michaelmas 1996


  • Former Secretary of Limerick Bar Association
  • Former member of the Litigation Committee of the Law Society of Ireland
  • Member of the Medical Injuries Alliance
  • Member of Action Against Medical Accidents (AvMA)

Related Solicitors

Ernest J. Cantillon

Managing Partner

Karen Kearney


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