Meghan Markle praised Vicky Phelan for her role in exposing CervicalCheck scandal

The Duchess of Sussex has praised Limerick woman Vicky Phelan for her role in exposing the Cervical Check scandal.

Meghan Markle is on a two-day visit to Ireland with her husband, Britain’s Prince Harry.

The couple are heading to Croke Park, Trinity College and the Famine Memorial as they continue their visit today.

Some 300 people attended a summer party in their honour at the British Ambassador's residence in Glencairn, south Dublin last night.

Mary Robinson, Ibrahim Halawa and Brian O’Driscoll were among the guests at the invite-only party.

Cervical cancer campaigner Vicky Phelan was one of the guests of honour at the party.

She said she was amazed when Ms Markle brought up her work exposing the cervical scandal.

“She was lovely; she seemed very nice and she was very interested,” she said.

“I was amazed; I mean I don’t know if I even said anything I was so gobsmacked; I just said, ‘Oh my god thank you’ or something like that.

“I couldn’t really believe that she knew who I was, to be honest.

“She just said, ‘you are doing great work keep doing it’ and I said, ‘yeah I will don’t worry.’”

Ms Phelan said she saw her attendance at the party as a “networking opportunity” more than anything else, but she admits it was a bonus to know her story is having an impact outside of Ireland.

“That was a bit of a plus, that it has gone to the UK,” she said.

“I mean I know people know my story elsewhere but still don’t think the royals watch anything like this.

“So that was nice.

“But I have met some really good people here and I have also been talking to the politicians obviously. That was my main aim really – to keep the story live really, to keep it going.”

She said the couple praised the work of mental health charities in Ireland, with Prince Harry showing an interest in the Shona Project – a charity that provides girls with helpful and practical guidance for dealing with everyday issues and challenges, including bullying.

Ms Phelan, who is terminally ill with cancer, settled her case against a US lab for €2.5m after being wrongly informed that she had the all clear in 2011.

Her case brought the scandal to light, and it has since emerged that over 220 other women were never told that they may have been given false test results.

- Digital Desk

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