Emma Mhic Mhathúna's solicitor: State has not yet fully investigated why CervicalCheck errors happened

Emma Mhic Mhathúna's solicitor: State has not yet fully investigated why CervicalCheck errors happened
Emma Mhic Mhathuna and her solicitor, Cian O'Carroll in June outside the Four Courts.

The solicitor who worked closely with the late Emma Mhic Mhathúna has asked why the state has not yet fully investigated why the CervicalCheck errors happened.

21 women affected by the CervicalCheck scandal have now died with Emma Mhic Mhathúna, a public face of the crisis, the latest.

In paying tribute this morning her solicitor, Cian O'Carroll, said the pressure for a world-class screening service to be the legacy for all the women must now increase.

Mr O'Carroll described Ms Mhic Mhathuna as a "strong, intelligent and funny woman" and revealed that there was a reason for her wearing the red dress on the day she made her settlement at the courts.

He said: "She thought things through, she worked it out and there was a reason why she wore the red dress.

Emma Mhic Mhathuna and her solicitor, Cian O'Carroll in June outside the Four Courts.
Emma Mhic Mhathuna and her solicitor, Cian O'Carroll in June outside the Four Courts.

"It was because she wasn't going to be seen as a victim and she looked remarkable that day walking through the Four Courts."

Mr O'Carroll told the "Today with Sean O'Rourke" show on RTÉ Radio 1 this morning that Emma was adamant all the way through that she wanted accountability.

He said that the National Screening Service has a primary obligation to send in HIQA to investigate why those errors happened, but he revealed: "they haven't done it".

"You would think that the State would have had those slides and those errors investigated. They haven't, they've never been investigated.

"In fact, none of the 221 errors have ever been investigated, even though the contracts with the laboratory specifically and clearly provides that if the State wants, it can send HIQA into that laboratory and find out why the error happened and has anything been done to fix the problem that caused it in the first place.

"Non-disclosure did not kill that woman, failures in a laboratory in 2010 and 2103 did.

"It is inexcusable that today following her death there is still not a clear and determined statement from the State saying that we will investigate why those slides and so many hundreds of others were critically misread in those laboratories in the US and in Ireland."

Mr O'Carroll revealed that his last communication with Ms Mhic Mhathuna was last Thursday through text. He spoke of how it was clear that she did not have long to live, but it wasn't clear that it would happen so immediately.

Mr O'Connor recalled ms Mhic Mhathúna asking about wheelchair access in the Four Courts. He told her not to worry, that she would be out of the wheelchair by the next time she was due at the Four Courts to which she replied: "It's not for my wheelchair, it's for my rollerskates".

He paid tribute to her determination to get things done.

Mr O'Carroll said: "She saw that things were wrong and didn't have to be the way they were, and that changed the way I look on things.

"She challenged us who were working for us constantly... it meant that we were ultimately able to do a much better job for her."

Meanwhile, RTE News are reporting that the two main laboratories who examine more than 260,000 smear tests a year have not yet agreed to sign new contracts with the HSE.

The contracts are due to expire this month and it is understood a key issue in relation to agreeing new contracts is the laboratories securing new insurance to cover the backlog of CervicalCheck tests to be done given the controversy around CervicalCheck legal claims and settlements.

- Digital Desk

More on this topic

Simon Harris accused of 'moving the goalposts' on CervicalCheck reviewSimon Harris accused of 'moving the goalposts' on CervicalCheck review

Cytopathologist apologises for smear test misinterpretation to woman who had hysterectomy Cytopathologist apologises for smear test misinterpretation to woman who had hysterectomy

Campaigner Stephen Teap hits out at Harris for 'exploiting' patient representativesCampaigner Stephen Teap hits out at Harris for 'exploiting' patient representatives

Letter to the Editor: Apology is no good when women are dyingLetter to the Editor: Apology is no good when women are dying


More in this Section

Man to appear in court in connection with cocaine seizure in DroghedaMan to appear in court in connection with cocaine seizure in Drogheda

Call to ban smoking on beachesCall to ban smoking on beaches

Parts of country could see snow tonightParts of country could see snow tonight

New advocacy service to provide support for concerned patientsNew advocacy service to provide support for concerned patients


Lifestyle

The Cosmetify Index reveals the cosmetics companies that are generating the most buzz online – and Dubai-based Huda Kattan has the top spot.Huda Beauty tops the 10 ‘most popular’ beauty brands this year

Read the script of Kya deLongchamps’ kitchen-sink drama to set the scene to make an informed choice when selecting this home essentialTake the plunge: Read this checklist before you splash out on your new kitchen sink

SOMETIMES, the journey is more important than the destination. And sometimes, we just want to sit at home eating a bag of jelly beans, while thinking about more jelly beans. Life is only as significant or special as we make it.GameTech: Death Stranding is a divisive, beautiful journey packaged in a cool world

Former Oasis drummer Tony McCarroll tells Richard Purden about the mad times when five Manc-Irish lads became one of the biggest rock bands in the worldNot looking back in anger: Former Oasis drummer looks back at the mad times of one of the biggest rock bands in the world

More From The Irish Examiner