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Saolta launch review after death of hospital patient


Michael Gallagher

Saolta have announced that a review is underway after a patient left Mayo University Hospital in the early hours of Tuesday morning, January 17, and was later found dead in a local river.
The body of Patrick Rowland (69) from Lahardane was taken from the Castlebar River on Thursday last following a search which involved hundreds of volunteers and emergency service personnel.
In a statement issued to The Mayo News yesterday (Monday), a Saolta spokesperson confirmed the initiation of a review and said in the interests of confidentiality it would be inappropriate to comment further.
Meanwhile, gardai are preparing a file for the coroner according to Superintendent Gabriel Moran. “There is no criminal investigation and the coroner’s file will look at factual information in relation to where, when and how,” he stated.
“I want to say a huge thank-you to everyone who helped in the search for Mr Rowland. The spirit of co-operation from hundreds of people and various agencies was heartening and says a lot about our society.
“We’ve had a very difficult week here in Mayo with searches in Castlebar, Westport and Crossmolina and in each and every instance we have received wonderful support across the board.”
Patrick Rowland was laid to rest on Sunday after Requiem Mass in St Mary’s Church Bofeenaun. The much-loved husband, father and grandfather was described as a generous, good-hearted man who was loved by all.  
The local Lahardane MacHales GAA Club described their former player as a gentleman and said the community was devastated by his sudden death.
“Pat was a tall, talented goal scoring corner-forward in an era when scores were definitely at a premium and his scores propelled the young club to our first titles in the mid 1970s.
“Everyone - be it neighbours, clubmates or work colleagues was fond of Pat and the common denominator with them all is ‘He was a gentleman’.”

Search continues in north Mayo
Meanwhile, the search continues for Séamus Cawley who is missing from the Lahardane/Crossmolina area since Monday, January 16. Hundreds of volunteers along with divers from the Garda Sub Aqua Unit, Grainne Uaile Search and Recovery and others from Longford, Donegal, Roscommon, Tullamore and Galway, supported by Civil Defence and Coastguard have spared no effort to locate Mr Cawley (68).
Local county councillor, Michael Loftus, who is also a member of the Grainne Uaile Search and Recovery Unit said the area has been gripped by sadness, but the community had banded together to support one another.
“The Lahardane, Bofeenaun, Crossmolina area has been rocked over the past week with the loss of Patrick Rowland and the search for Séamus Cawley in the Deel and Lough Conn. There is huge sadness but also a great sense of people banding together to help families through horrific experiences.
“Hundreds of people have been out searching the river banks, and helping in so many ways from transport to food and all sorts of supports. We have searched the water with teams of divers and now a crucial period of time is coming when more searches of the river bank need to be undertaken.
“There’s a family who need support desperately and the community is determined to keep searching until there’s a successful outcome. This is a terrible time, but a great sense of strength, unity and togetherness is also evident,” Cllr Loftus ststed.