Gerard O’Donnell, the Galway-based lawyer who is representing Praveen Halappanavar, said in an interview that he and his client deliberately made the release of information regarding the case slow in order to sustain the media’s attention. reports that O’Donnell spoke with the Law Society Gazette about his and his client’s tactics in the wake of the case.

O’Donnell said to the Law Society Gazette in an interview: “I realised this case would benefit from sustained exposure in the media rather than a one-off media ‘storm’, and so we chose to release information to the media more slowly in order to ensure that the case would have continued momentum.”

Indeed, the story of the untimely death of Savita Halappanavar gripped both Irish and international headlines in October. Savita died in a Galway hospital after succumbing to sepsis when she was refused an abortion during her apparent miscarriage.

In the wake of her death, the debate over Ireland’s stance on being strictly anti-abortion has reignited and is continually developing.

O’Donnell noted that Savita’s story highlights “just how important the media is in society.”

“The interest in this case could not be achieved simply by writing letters. The significant media coverage has helped place the spotlight on the Government and the issue of the vindication of the rights of its citizens,” said O’Donnell.

O’Donnell added that he hopes the government will grant Praveen’s wish for a public inquiry into his wife’s death, and is disappointed that no such inquiry has yet been granted.

He believes Praveen is entitled to a public inquiry under both the Irish Constitution and the European Convention on Human Rights, he said.

A woman holds a picture of Savita Halappanavar in protest outside University Hospital Galway.Cathal Mcnaughton/Reuters