A Galway midwife has admitted she told Indian native Savita Halappanavar that she could not abort her terminally ill fetus because Ireland was a Catholic country. Savita was working as a dentist in County Mayo when she began having labor pains with her 17 week old fetus.

Savita later died from sepsis which was not diagnosed by the hospital after her 17 week old fetus was born dead,

Ann Maria Burke claimed she never made the comments to Savita who was pleading for a termination in a "hurtful context."

"I'm upset about this and I'm very upset. I did mention a Catholic country, I didn't mention it in a hurtful context," she told the inquest.

"So it was not in a context to offend her, I'm sorry if if came across. I don't think I came across as insensitive at the time. It does sound very bad now, but at the time I didn't mean it," she said.

"It was more to give information and to kind of throw light on our culture than to be hurtful or insensitive," she added.

"She had mentioned the Hindu faith that this would happen and there would be no problem, and I really had to say something and I was trying to be as kind as I could. And it came out the wrong way and I'm sorry," she added.

Savita’s attending physician Doctor Katherine Astbury admitted there were grave errors in her treatment, that she had not checked blood abnormalities that hinted at sepsis and there was confusion about her care.