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Annual Report For Office Of State Pathologist Published.

Minister for Justice, Mrs Helen McEntee TD, today published the Office of the State Pathologists Annual Report for 2021, which provides a detailed account of the Office’s operations over the past year.

The core work conducted by the State Pathologist Office is providing independent expert advice on matters relating to forensic pathology and performing post mortem examinations in criminal, suspicious or unusual deaths. State Pathologists are often required to attend and give evidence in coronial, criminal or civil courts.

The Office of State Pathologist also deals with a significant number of other types of cases such as skeletonised remains, which may require the expertise of a forensic anthropologist, cold case reviews and referred cases, which are cases that are referred for a further professional opinion, usually from outside the Irish jurisdiction.

Speaking on the publication of the report Minister McEntee said:

“I want to commend Dr. Linda Mulligan for her leadership since her appointment in early 2021. I welcome the addition of two new State Pathologists to the team in 2021 and also the successful completion of a Deputy State Pathologist competition, which resulted in two Deputy State Pathologists being appointed in 2022.

These appointments along with that of a new Shared Facilities Manager are essential in strengthening the Office’s capacity to carry out its vital functions. The additional resources will also support the State Pathologists in their important role in assisting families on the loss of their loved ones by helping to answer their questions, as well as playing a vital role developing autopsy practice in Ireland”.

The Office of the State Pathologist provides expert forensic advice to various groups and plays an important educational role by providing teaching to government bodies, An Garda Síochána, the Military Police and to medical schools in higher education institutions.

Speaking about the Report, Minister McEntee said:

“The Annual report for 2021 demonstrates the complex work undertaken daily by our forensic pathologists and also the additional challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Office of the State Pathologist continues to be the liaison between the Coroners, An Garda Síochána, the Faculty of Pathology in the Royal College of Physicians Ireland and mortuaries around the country. Through her work with the Faculty of Pathology and because of this unique position, the Chief State Pathologist is currently chairing a review group for the HSE Standards and Recommended Practices for Post Mortem Examination Services. The updated document will be available later this year”.

A full copy of the report is available on the Department of Justice website here: Office of the State Pathologist Annual Report 2021 (justice.ie).

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