Emma Mhic Mhathúna urges women to keep fighting as CervicalCheck scandal protests continue

Update 4.32pm: Emma Mhic Mhathúna has today urged those affected by the CervicalCheck scandal to continue the fight.

The Ballydavid resident and mother-of-five is terminally ill, following errors in the CervicalCheck system.

Campaign group Standing4Women organised protests across the country today in support of those affected by the scandal.

Speaking at today's protest in Tralee, Ms Mhic Mhathúna says the review of smear tests needs to be changed and redirected.

"Keep standing up for yourself and push for this Scally Review to be changed in direction," she said, speaking to Radio Kerry's Eamonn Hickson.

"At the moment it seems like it's the Scallywag review because it's focusing on hearing stories and comforting women rather than getting to the bottom of who did the tests, and how did it go wrong, and why wasn't there any patient safety done.

"So just keep sticking together and fighting for your rights and we'll get the bottom of it eventually. Don't let this story die down."

Earlier: Demonstrations to be held across the country over CervicalCheck scandal

Women are being urged to wear red today and attend local demonstrations being held around the country in solidarity with those affected by the Cervical Check scandal.

Campaign group 'Standing4Women' says they are gathering at 2pm at Dublin's GPO and 20 other venues, to show support for the women and families affected.

Spokeswoman Clare O'Connor says they're calling for immediate action by the Government and the HSE.

"We are asking people to come and stand in solidarity with the women and the families affected," said Ms O'Connor.

"We're having demonstrations across the country. You will find them on our Facebook page Standing4Women.

"In Dublin it's at the GPO but we have up to 20 locations across the country and we're really looking for people to come on board with us."

Yesterday, the head of the scoping inquiry into the CervicalCheck Screening Programme, Dr Gabriel Scally, has said that it looks like the HSE have given him access to files "in a searchable format".

Vicky Phelan, who exposed the scandal, had revealed that everything is going through the lawyers and the files are "heavily redacted".

However, on Friday Dr Scally said he has got documentation from the HSE with the redactions removed.

Dr Scally said: "As of today, it appears we now have access to documentation being provided to us by the HSE in a searchable format and with all redactions, apart from those relating to patient confidentiality, removed.

"We are now checking this for completeness.

"This is very welcome progress and will assist us in moving forward with our inquiry in a more time efficient manner.

"I would like to acknowledge the co-operation of all the HSE staff who have assisted in making this information available."

Dr Gabriel Scally

Ms Phelan said she is worried that the review of the 3,000 smear tests is going to uncover more patients who were given false readings.

This week, it was revealed that the number of cases involved in the CervicalCheck scandal has risen by 12 from 209 to 221.

Also, the Department of Health confirmed that an independent review of more than 3,000 smear tests, which was due to be finished by May, has not been started yet.

Digital Desk

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