CervicalCheck campaigner Lynsey Bennett dies aged 34

Mother-of-two had sued HSE over alleged failure to read smear tests

CervicalCheck campaigner Lynsey Bennett, who took a High Court case over alleged misinterpretation of her cervical smear slides, has died.

Last year the mother of two settled her legal action with the head of the CervicalCheck programme expressing “deep regret” to the woman and her family.

Ms Bennett (34) was diagnosed with invasive cervical cancer in January 2017, with her legal case claiming there had been a failure to correctly read previous smear tests she had done.

Gillian O’Mahony, her solicitor, issued a statement on behalf of Ms Bennett’s family on Friday.


“It is with great sadness that the family of Lynsey Bennett wish to announce that Lynsey passed away peacefully last night. Lynsey was a very special person,” it said.

“Lynsey’s beautiful girls, father, sisters, family and friends are heartbroken at the passing of Lynsey at the young age of 34 years and would appeal for privacy at the moment,” it said.

The statement said details of the funeral arrangements would be announced shortly.

Ms Bennett from Ennybegs, Killoe, Co Longford has two daughters, Zoe and Hailee.

Stephen Teap, a CervicalCheck campaigner whose wife died of cervical cancer, said he was “overwhelmed with emotions” at the news Ms Bennett had died, who he described as a “beautiful person and mother”.

“While her pain ends today it only begins for those who loved her most, my thoughts are especially with her two little girls,” he said.

Alan Kelly, Labour Party TD, said Ms Bennett showed “incredible resilience and strength” despite having to fight a court battle.

“Women like Lynsey who were let down by the system should not be remembered as victims of health screening errors. Their legacy is fighting for all women who have been left down by our health services. Lynsey certainly was a fighter,” he said.

Ms Bennett had sued the Health Service Executive (HSE), Irish testing laboratory Eurofins Biomnis Ireland Ltd, Sandyford Industrial Estate, Dublin and US laboratory Quest Diagnostics Incorporated, New Jersey.

A settlement agreement was reached in the case following talks, with the funds to go into a trust set up for her children.

Speaking outside the court following the settlement, Ms Bennett said she hoped she had done enough to secure a future for her daughters financially.

“Unfortunately, I probably will not be here much longer. It is just I will be able to have some peace knowing it is sorted,” she said.

“To my daughters Zoe and Hailee, I hope I have done enough to secure you both a future free of financial worries and that even with me not here to guide you, you can both pursue your dreams. And always remember, Mammy loves you,” she said.

Jack Power

Jack Power

Jack Power is acting Europe Correspondent of The Irish Times