Lara inquest resumes

Lara Burns

Lara Burns

A wrong turning by an ambulance driver led to a delay of just a minute or two in getting to the hospital, an inquest into the death of a 12 year old Kildare girl heard.

At the resumed inquest into the death of Laura Gibbs Burns, on Wednesday 19 March, an ambulance driver said his colleague took a wrong turn off the motorway as they brought Lara to the Children’s Hospital in Crumlin. They should have taken a left turn going to the Long Mile road and took a right instead.

Lara was found in a barn at her home in Grange, near Kilcock, on 24 November 2012.

At a previous hearing last year, Lara’s mother, Helene, asked how the ambulance had arrived at the hospital after her even though it had left their home at Grange before her.

The inquest also heard more details of the delay in finding the house at Grange and how they had to contact again the control centre at Tara Street.

Gerard Devine, a Maynooth based ambulance driver, said they had got a call from Tara Street at 9.21pm that day to go to Grange, Kilcock, but took a wrong turn in the rural area. They arrived at the scene at 9.39pm.

They described how they tried to revive Lara, who was not breathing at that point.

Dr. Denise Nolan, a Maynooth GP who Lara attended, said the young girl told her she was self harming and was worried about her weight, but that she also said she would do herself no permanent harm. She told how she and a locum arranged counselling for Lara at Pieta House.

Megan Gaffney, a counselling psychologist, employed to work at Maynooth Post Primary school on one day a week, said Lara had approached her on 12 September 2012 and said she was self harming.

Lara, she said, “had difficulty in her relationships and low self esteem”.

Dr. Farrell said reports said Lara, who had just attended Maynooth Post Primary for the first time that term, had been self harming in sixth class in primary school. Ms. Gaffney said she did not think Lara’s family were aware of that at the time.

Witness said that students at Maynooth would have been aware of Lara’s difficulty.

Lara’s mother, Helene Burns, raised questions about being told about the counselling. The school says she was kept informed.

Maynooth Post Primary principal, Johnny Nevin, said at no point did Lara say she was being bullied.

He also said Lara had not brought a blade to school, which had been rumoured.

The inquest was adjourned until May 21.




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