Govt cannot be allowed to forget cervical smear scandal, says Cork woman impacted by controversy

Govt cannot be allowed to forget cervical smear scandal, says Cork woman impacted by controversy
Carol Murray at her home in Midleton. Photo: Eddie O'Hare

Official Ireland cannot be allowed to start 2019 with a fresh slate in relation to the cervical smear scandal with the HSE still needing to make massive efforts to rebuild trust and to make concrete change in medical care, according to one of the women impacted by the controversy.

Carol Murray, 33, from Midleton, Co Cork received a false smear test result in 2010. She was diagnosed with stage three cervical cancer seven years ago but is now cancer free following chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

Ms Murray has been holding regular rallies in her hometown in order to keep the issue to the forefront of the media and to express solidarity with other women in her position.

She says that women like her and bereaved families who have lost loved ones to cervical cancer are still looking for accountability.

"We would all love to be in a job where if you make a mistake nothing is going to happen. We mustn't (let official Ireland forget).

"I think that is what the whole Government and the HSE are hoping for. They are hoping that it is going to go away. They are delaying this, that and the other.

"It is six months on and what has happened? The HSE are doing all these different tactics to delay us and it is just like a hamster wheel."

Ms Murray told the Opinion Line on Cork's 96FM that re-establishing trust in the HSE is still possible if the onus is placed on transparency.

Honesty, openness, is a great start to build that trust. Time does build back up trust. If they owned more of the mistakes, if they were open and honest it would make us realise they are doing the right thing.

Carol, who held a rally in Midleton on Saturday, said she pulled back from rallying for a period. However, she stresses that it is "even harder to sit back and not do anything."

"When I go out to speak it gives me a feeling that I am doing something. That I am not giving up. That I am not lying down. I am not going to let them think that I am going to forget about this. "

She adds that persons impacted by the cervical cancer controversy are tired of having to hear updates from journalists.

"We literally have to find out from the support group we are in from journalists. Anything important that has happened we are finding out through journalists. We are finding out through news headlines.

"I know it is a big group. Everyone can't be individually rung and told this information but at the same time but it is a bit of common decency and respect that they should show. It can be done."

Meanwhile, Women's Lives Matter will be hosting an indoor rally/vigil with speeches at St Peter's Cork on November 30th at 7.30pm.

Organisers say the event will continue to highlight the issues whilst remembering women who have lost their lives from cervical cancer.

More information can be obtained here.

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