Vicky Phelan, Catherine Corless to be honoured by the PSI

Psychological Society of Ireland to hear of impact of trauma on the women and families

Vicky Phelan at Leinster House. File photograph: Tom Honan/The Irish Times.

Vicky Phelan at Leinster House. File photograph: Tom Honan/The Irish Times.

 

Vicky Phelan, who became an activist in the Cervical smear scandal, and Tuam mother-and-baby home historian Catherine Corless are to be honoured by the Psychological Society of Ireland (PSI) this week.

The society, which is the professional body for psychologists in Ireland, will honour the women at its annual conference, which runs from Wednesday to Friday in Kilkenny.

On Friday Ms Phelan will also deliver a key-note address describing her personal experience of the cervical smear debacle and other traumas, as well as the the psychological impact on herself and her family.

Both Ms Phelan and Ms Corless are to receive citations from PSI president Ian O’Grady.

Historian Catherine Corless. File photograph: Peter Nicholls/Reuters
Historian Catherine Corless. File photograph: Peter Nicholls/Reuters

Ms Phelan is to be honoured for the integral part she played in exposing the CervicalCheck scandal.

Ms Corless is to be honoured for securing the death certificates of almost 800 children who died at the Tuam Mother and Baby Home, and exposing what became knows as the Tuam Babies scandal, when babies’ bodies were discovered in a former septic tank on the grounds of the home.

Commenting on the citations, Mr O’Grady said the women were “two outstanding members of Irish society”. He praised Ms Phelan’s resolve “in the face of unimaginable difficulty” as an inspiration to many, and said she is a truly remarkable individual.

“I have enormous respect and appreciation for Catherine Corless for the effort she continues to make in keeping the Tuam Babies issue at the forefront of people’s minds.”

The PSI conference will also host a free public talk, Understanding Suicide and Self-Harm, by Prof Siobhan O’Neill of Ulster University on Wednesday evening. The conference is to be opened by Minister of State for Mental Health and Older People, Jim Daly, on Wednesday.

Further information on psychologicalsociety.ie