Dublin maternity hospital appoints doctor convicted of assaulting girlfriend

A Dublin maternity hospital hired a doctor who was suspended by a British medical tribunal after being convicted of assaulting his girlfriend and her friend, who had tried to stop him from drunk driving.

The Coombe Hospital appointed Dr Christopher Morris as a locum consultant in the obstetrics and gynaecology department last year.

The Ditch understands that Morris was interviewed earlier this week after applying for a permanent consultant position that would see him work between the Coombe and Tallaght University Hospitals. 

Assaulted two women

Christopher Morris received bachelor’s degrees in medicine and surgery from the Universities of Exeter and Plymouth in 2009. He was registered as a doctor with Britain’s General Medical Council the following year. 

Morris attended the 2011 Dartington Festival in England, where he assaulted his girlfriend and another female friend. 

According to a BBC report, “The victims were attacked for trying to stop Dr Morris from driving after he had been drinking.” 

He was convicted of assault at Torquay Magistrates' Court in July 2012 and handed a two year community order and ordered to attend a domestic abuse programme. 

In 2013, he appeared before the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service to face disciplinary action over the incident.

The tribunal noted that although Morris had been dealt with by a court, its failure to take further action could undermine public confidence in the profession.

"A period of suspension would send out a message to you, the profession and the wider public that such behaviour is completely unacceptable", said the tribunal, banning Morris from practice for two months.

Morris was registered as a specialist doctor by the Irish Medical Council in July 2023 and started working with the Coombe Hospital later that year. 

The south Dublin city maternity hospital declined to comment when asked if it was aware of Morris’s criminal conviction for assaulting two women before he was recruited.

“The Coombe Hospital cannot comment on individual employees. However, the hospital can confirm that it has a rigorous verification and assessment process for all staff appointments, which includes garda vetting,” said a spokesperson in a statement issued to The Ditch earlier this evening.

The Ditch editors

The Ditch editors