Tributes paid to Limerick mother who died giving birth at home

The late Laura Liston.

TRIBUTES have been paid to a County Limerick mother whose death after giving birth at her home has led to a suspension of home birth services pending a HSE review of the circumstances that led to the tragedy.

Laura Liston died after giving birth to her first child, Shay, at her home in Dunnaman, Croom on June 5.

A statement released earlier today by the UL Hospitals Group, which did not identify Ms Liston, confirmed that the home birth service in the Mid-West was temporarily suspended “following a recent maternal death.

“We have commissioned an external review of the home birth service in the Mid-West. A group of external experts, including those with midwifery and obstetrics expertise, is being assembled to conduct the review; looking at patient safety, clinical governance and any other issues arising”

Women registered to have had a homebirth in the region will have to attend the University Maternity Hospital Limerick (UMHL) until further notice.

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It’s understood Ms Liston developed life-threatening health complications after the home birth and was later rushed by ambulance from UMHL to University Hospital Limerick where she was pronounced dead.

Ms Liston’s husband Fergal Mannion paid an emotional tribute to his late wife at her funeral mass in St Mary’s Church, Croom last Friday.

Speaking today (Friday, June 17), Fr Richard Davern, who officiated the Funeral Mass, said: “It was the most tragic case I have ever witnessed in my ministry or ever dealt with, and I just hope to God that the family will find strength.”

“They have great hope with the little boy. He has given them great hope and something to focus on at this awful time. I suppose it is ironic that the weakest one, a little baby, is actually going to be the strongest bind that keeps the family together and keep them motivated. It’s sad beyond words.God love them.”

Fr Davern, who previously married the couple, said Mr Mannion “spoke at the Mass and thanked the community and said the kindness and goodness of people has been overwhelming”.

Croom Parish Priest Canon Willie Fitzmaurice said the community was deeply shocked and rallying around the heartbroken families.

“They are heartbroken. It’s something beyond their imagining, they are just heartbroken and in shock. The community has reached out and shown a tremendous solidarity to the family. They were shocked and heartbroken at the loss of a woman of such a young age. She was in her mid thirties,” said Fr Fitzmaurice.

He said that Ms Liston had helped many vulnerable people through her work.

“She was a probation officer in the prison. She would have been well known and very popular with all the people she encountered in those areas of rehabilitation and so on.”

Friends and neighbours passed on their sympathies to the Liston and Mannion families in an online book of condolences.

Jillian Halpin, a former class mate of Ms Liston, at Crescent College Comprehensive, Limerick, wrote: “I am shocked and so saddened to hear of Laura’s passing. I have such lovely memories with Laura during our time in secondary school. She was gentle, kind and caring to all. My sympathies to both the Liston and Mannion families. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a hanam.”

“Rest in peace Laura and watch over your baby and heartbroken family. Guide them and wrap your gentle wings around them.RIP,” stated Edel Fitzgerald from Croom.

“I worked with Laura in Tusla. She was an amazing colleague, hard working, always had your back and always such great fun to be around,” wrote Breffni Coffey.

Ms Liston who was laid to rest in Relig Mhuire Cemetery, Croom, is survived by her husband Fergal, baby son Shay, parents Fiona and John, and sisters Jenifer, Sarah, and brother John-Robert.