Ruth Morrissey has not been told directly that the SCA is to appeal the High Court judgment, solicitor says

Ruth Morrissey has not been told directly that the SCA is to appeal the High Court judgment, solicitor says
Ruth Morrissey

Ruth Morrissey's solicitor Cian O'Carroll said today that they still haven't been told directly that the State Claims Agency is to appeal the High Court judgment in Ms Morrissey's case.

Mr O'Carroll, was speaking on Today with Sean O'Rourke and said they read it in the newspaper yesterday, and heard Minister Simon Harris announce it on The Week in Politics, but he didn't pick up the phone and inform Mr O'Carroll or Ms Morrisey directly.

He said there had been talk that the State Claims Agency and the labs involved were considering an appeal.

"Med labs said on the day the judgement came out, in a what you might call a knee jerk reaction, within an hour or so that they were appealing.

"But they subsequently told the court that they were considering that. Now, it's 6 weeks on and it really is a problem because this appeal, if it is going to happen, and I don't necessarily think it has to be for certain, but if it is going to happen it really should be getting on".

The Minister for Health Simon Harris said he would seek to protect the total award.

However, Mr O'Carroll thinks the Minister is "looking for political cover".

"I'm curious to know why he's distancing himself from this decision when he's the one who's effectively addressing it on television yesterday before our client was informed.
"He's clearly involved in these decisions."

The problem Mr O'Carroll has with the appeal he said, is that he believes they are making it out to be something that is essential for the future of screening in Ireland.

He said they are making out that the 'absolute confidence' test is a problem.

Solicitor Cian O'Carroll
Solicitor Cian O'Carroll

However, he said through the trial a large number of experts and both labs accepted in their submissions that the absolute confidence test, is not only the applicable test in Ireland, but is the test that those laboratories use.

Mr Carroll said they were asked to make a written submission during the case but they declined, adding that he feels that now there is a PR reaction to the judgement.

On another point he said, "The only reaction we have heard from the screening community in Ireland and from the medical profession, has been that this standard is too high, women in Ireland deserve less.

"I haven't heard any woman say, 'do you know what lads? I'm grand with the standards you're using in screening here'. Nor have I heard any of these colleges or branches of the screening service say, 'this is interesting, we should really look at this carefully and see can we do this better.

"They don't want to do it better, they want the status quo or less."

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