Emma Mhic Mhathúna calls for CervicalCheck case to be settled
‘I will not die leaving this country in unsafe hands’: Protests take place country-wide
Emma Mhic Mhathúna has called on Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Minister for Health Simon Harris to have her court case on Thursday settled. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
Emma Mhic Mhathúna has called on Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Minister for Health Simon Harris to have her court case on Thursday settled so she can spend time with her family before she dies.
A number of protests are under way around Ireland in the wake of the CervicalCheck controversy. The national day of action, organised by #Standing4Women, is taking place at 25 locations around the country.
The group said the day of action was part of a campaign for mandatory open disclosure to be implemented with an agreed timeline.
Ms Mhic Mhathúna and her five children have begun a High Court action over alleged delays relating to CervicalCheck smears.
The terminally ill Co Kerry woman has, along with her five children who range in age from two to 16 years, sued the HSE and a US laboratory used by CervicalCheck.
She is one of the 209 women with cervical cancer who were found to have received incorrect smear tests during a clinical audit of past tests by the CervicalCheck screening programme after their cancer diagnoses.
The 37-year-old is among 162 of those who were only told about the incorrect tests after Limerick woman Vicky Phelan settled her court case against a US laboratory for € 2.5 million.
Ms Mhic Mhathúna was diagnosed with cervical cancer in 2016.
Her barrister told the High Court on Wednesday his client, who was in court for the application, wants the case settled as soon as possible.
Ms Mhic Mhathúna was joined by her two sons Séamus and Mario at a demonstration for cervical cancer outside the Dáil on Wednesday.
“I was told by my solicitor not to talk anymore but he should know by now that I don’t listen. I was in the High Court today listening to all the egomaniacs argue over whose fault it is,” she said.
“I found out last night that the 2010 smear that I should have had a coloposcopy. The letters from America never arrived to Ireland so where did the letters go? How many more women are affected by this?” she asked.
“Simon Harris has 24 hours to tell the HSE who he is supposed to be in control over, that they were wrong and to get me out of the spider’s web in the Four Courts so I can go home and have fun with my children as I am entitled to do,” she said.
“This whole movement is about policy changes and not policing us and keeping us quiet. We are on a 24-hour wait in the Four Courts tomorrow to see if they’re going to take responsibility. This is a chance for the Irish Government to stand in front of us, Braveheart style, and say ’no more’ to the daughters of Ireland,” she said.
“I guarantee if this was an Irish lab that done this to Americans, Donald Trump would have no bother telling us to eff-off. Instead we have docile people in our Government who are afraid to turn around and say this is unacceptable. There are women who are dead; these labs should never get a business contract again,” she said.
Ms Mhic Mhathúna said she would continue to fight to ensure legislation for mandatory disclosure is brought forward.
“Terminal cancer or not, people don’t realise when you are dying, you are the strongest that you will ever be because you are fighting for survival.
“I am being ripped apart by my five children. I have a daughter starting the junior cert next week, then I have my two sons here and two sons at home. I will not die leaving this country in unsafe hands,” she said.