Protests due in Cork, Dublin and Wicklow over cancer scandal

Women ‘fed up with ill-treatment, disrespect, the disregard – the misogyny that is going on’

Rallies are to be held in Cork, Dublin and Wicklow at the weekend to highlight public anger over the cervical smear test controversy.

Blogger Nikola Barrett, who is organising the protest in Cork, said the idea for the event there came from women responding to her posts about the scandal on her Facebook page.

"Women wanted to protest, they wanted to be heard and they wanted to say something," Ms Barrett told Red FM in Cork.

“It really is symbolic of how people are feeling. I think women are just very fed up with everything, with ill-treatment, the disrespect, the disregard – the misogyny that is going on – it’s just shocking.”


Ms Barrett said it was originally planned to hold the protest outside St Finbarr's Hospital on the South Douglas Road but, such has been the interest, it has been moved to Bishop Lucey Park in the city centre.

Ms Barrett said Irish women owed a huge debt to women such as Vicky Phelan and Emma Mhic Mhathúna, who had highlighted the scandal and deserved justice.

She said the group would also be thinking of Carrigaline woman Irene Teap, who died after getting two false negative test results, and her husband, Stephen, who has been left to rear their two young sons.

In Dublin, a group of concerned women called Protest Cervical Check has organised a demonstration outside the Dáil on Saturday at noon.

On Sunday, a different group has organised a protest in the home town of Minister for Health Simon Harris – Greystones, Co Wicklow. Protesters will meet on Sunday at 2pm at the South Beach Car Park beside the Wicklow County Council offices to protest at the healthcare failures and apply pressure to seek greater accountability.

Barry Roche

Barry Roche

Barry Roche is Southern Correspondent of The Irish Times