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26 Jan 2022

No date set for new inquest into death of Raychel Ferguson

Family hope no one will 'impede' the new hearing into death of nine-year-old

Raychel

Raychel Ferguson was nine when she died.

The family of Raychel Ferguson, the nine-year-old Derry girl who died of hyponatraemia after an appendix operation in city's Altnagelvin Hospital, have said they hope no one will 'impede' the new inquest into her death.
Counsel for the family, John Coyle, told a pre-inquest review into the death on June 10 2001 that the family saw it as important that the hearing was being held in Bishop Street courthouse 'in the city where their daughter died.'
He said the family was looking forward to working with the coroner and hoped everyone else would.
The new inquest was ordered after a 14-year inquiry into Raychel's death and that of other children found that most of the deaths were 'avoidable.'
Opening the hearing,  coroner Joe McCrisken welcomed the family to the inquest.
He said that he hoped to set a date and a venue for the inquest proper on the next hearing date but at the minute he was unable 'to give a suggestion of a venue' due to Covid pressures on the court system.
He added that at the next hearing he would hope to be in a position to give an idea of a venue.
The Coroner said that he expected not all of the witnesses on the current list would be called to give evidence.
The hearing was adjourned until February 21 next.

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