Latest: 'We need to explore other mechanisms' for CervicalCheck scandal cases, says Varadkar

Update 5.21pm: The Taoiseach says mediation is being offered in every single case affected by the CervicalCheck scandal.

Leo Varadkar says he regrets not being more clear when the controversy first came to light that mediation may not be successful in every situation.

The Taoiseach says it's now become clear to him that other alternatives may need to be explored.

"Perhaps mediation is not the Holy Grail or the panacea that maybe we thought it was a few months ago," he said.

"I certainly was much more confident that it'd be possible to settle all cases by mediation, thus avoiding a court trial.

"But it's become evident to me that that may not be the case so we need to explore other mechanisms."

Leo Varadkar says he is also willing to hold any Commission of Investigation in public, but said some of those giving evidence may feel otherwise.

Earlier: Government needs to make good on commitments to victims of CervicalCheck scandal - Mary Lou McDonald

Update 12.40pm: The Government needs to make good on its commitments to the victims of the CervicalCheck scandal, according to Mary Lou McDonald.

Mary lou McDonald.

The Sinn Féin leader says there does not need to be a political catfight over what should be done to help the women affected.

Yesterday, the Taoiseach backed away from his commitment that none of the women would have to go to court, saying it was their constitutional right to do so.

Mary Lou McDonald says Leo Varadkar needs to live up to his commitments to the women who had false-negative smear tests.

She said: "The challenge for Government is to make good on the commitments they entered into. I am happy to accept that those commitments were made in good faith. Now we need to see those commitments honoured in good faith.

"The test as to whether or not the Government is keeping its word or achieving its aims is best articulated by the women and by their families and so far they are saying that the Government has failed them."

Earlier: Women caught up in cervical cancer scandal deserve an apology from Taoiseach, says Donnelly

Fianna Fáil's Health Spokesperson says the women caught up in the cervical cancer scandal deserve an apology from the Taoiseach.

Stepgen Donnelly.

Leo Vardakar yesterday admitted that he could have been 'more clear' when he made a promise back in May that women affected would not have to go to court.

Last week, 37-year-old terminally ill cancer patient Ruth Morrissey was forced to go to court in a bid to get compensation.

Ruth Morrissey.

Deputy Stephen Donnelly says the Taoiseach needs to give a full explanation to these women.

He said: "If he stands up and says 'these women will not have to go to court' and then comes out a few months later and saying 'well, what I meant was they may have to go to court,' I don't think that is OK.

I think what he owes these women and their families is a full explanation and an apology.

"Emma Mhic Mhathúna went to court at least four times since he made those promises, Ruth Morrissey was in court last week, there are more women and more families now looking down the barrel of court.

He has got to back it up and give these women and their families the comfort and the protection that he promised them or he has to be absolutely honest as to why he made false promises in the first place.

- Digital Desk


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