Barrister Alan Toal, Barred from a Dublin Private Hospital, Sues, Toal, is under Garda Protection, from threats by a Serious Gangland Criminal?

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Assault case barrister sues hospital after being ‘barred by CEO’

 31st August 2022

A barrister who was recently allegedly assaulted and received death threats from a notorious criminal has issued legal proceedings against the Beacon Hospital after it barred him from getting medical treatment there.

Alan Toal (60) is seeking an injunction against the Dublin private hospital and its CEO Michael Cullen, restraining them from barring him and terminating his treatment.

The veteran barrister, who is currently receiving Garda protection, had been a patient of the hospital since 2011, undergoing surgeries to manage a spinal and nerve condition and more recently receiving treatment for chronic pain.

In an affidavit filed with the High Court, he said he learned in June an appointment with his consultant orthopaedic surgeon, Professor Turlough O’Donnell, had been cancelled and that Mr Cullen had decided he should be barred.

Mr Toal said the barring occurred after he represented Dr Saad Khaja, a consultant anaesthetist, who raised “extremely serious matters” which have been denied by the hospital and its CEO.

The Co Wicklow-based barrister said he was told by solicitors engaged by Mr Cullen that his admission and treatment was not proceeding due to “various behaviours whilst a patient at the hospital” but they refused to specify what these alleged behaviours were.

He said the decision meant he was denied access to his Beacon medical team after his alleged assaulted by a “dangerous criminal” in Tullamore, Co Offaly on August 18.

Sligo drug trafficker Patrick Irwin (40) is being sought by gardaí in relation to the incident and the theft of Mr Toal’s Porsche car. He was released from jail in August 2018 after serving ten years for drug dealing and assaulting a garda.

The case was opened on an ex parte, or one side only basis, by Mr Toal’s counsel Michael Francis Forde, appearing with solicitor John Geary.

Ms Justice Siobhan Stack said she would not give an injunction on an ex parte basis but would adjourn the matter for a fortnight so the Beacon could be put on notice.

In his affidavit, Mr Toal described the denial of his access as “irrational”, as he had “an excellent relationship” with his clinical team.

He said Medical Council guidelines allowed exclusions to lawfully occur only in limited circumstances relating to violence and aggression, threatening actions or sexual advances. “I can categorically state that I did not engage in any such behaviour or otherwise and there are no circumstances which warrant my barring from the Beacon Hospital by its CEO,” he said.

The court heard Prof O’Donnell had no issue with treating the barrister and that, in legal correspondence, the Beacon had suggested this could be done at other rooms the surgeon has at Aut Even Hospital in Kilkenny.

Mr Forde said his client had up to ten surgical interventions in relation to his spine and the suggestion that he would have to drive to Kilkenny was “out of the question”.

Counsel told the court there was also a security issue and that he could not be expected to “travel across country in circumstances where his life is at risk”.

“One of the most senior criminal figures in the country assaulted my client and took his car and is subject to a national manhunt. My client is under the protection of the Gardaí at this present time,” said Mr Forde.

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