Cancer victims heartbroken at leaking of report

Women and families affected by the CervicalCheck scandal have said they are heartbroken that that sections of the Scally review had been leaked to the media.

Cancer victims heartbroken at leaking of report

By Conall Ó Fátharta and Sarah Slater

Women and families affected by the CervicalCheck scandal have said they are heartbroken that that sections of the Scally review had been leaked to the media.

The media reports yesterday revealed that Dr Scally’s report will conclude that a commission of investigation into the issue is not needed and that he has uncovered what needs to be uncovered to address the scandal.

The women and families affected were briefed on the report yesterday afternoon as a result of the leaks to the press.

However, some of those affected expressed their anger at the leaks and said the Government was responsible.

Lorraine Walsh told RTÉ News that she felt “let down completely” and questioned how the leak could have occurred.

How was it leaked to the press? From what I understand, the information in the report is with Department of An Taoiseach, the Minister for Health and the Department of Health. So who has leaked it?

“It had been confirmed to us yesterday by Gabriel Scally and the minister that we would be briefed prior to the report going to Cabinet or published. And to wake up this morning and to see news of it all over the papers, it’s just heartbreaking,” she said.

Ms Walsh said it was disappointing that throughout the entire scandal, the main source of information for those affected has been the media.

On Twitter, Vicky Phelan said she had woken up to a “whitewash”.

“I am late to the table with my reaction for 2 reasons. Lest you all forget, I am still an ill woman battling cancer. The first morning I decide to take a lie in to prepare myself for the gruelling week of interviews ahead and what do I wake up to - a whitewash.”

Today was the day I had set aside to pick up my kids from school and spend some time with them. That is now not going to happen. I find myself in the same position as I did a few months ago when I found out that I had not been informed about my own health,” she tweeted.

Ms Phelan said that “information continues to be withheld from women” and that she would “fight back”.

Stephen Teap, who’s wife died of Cervical Cancer last year after two undisclosed false tests said he was heartbroken by the leaks and the “disrespect shown towards the women and families in this scandal by Government”.

Emma Mhic Mhathúna said she “couldn’t care less” about the leak as she knew it would not hold those responsible to account.

Ms Mhic Mhathúna was awarded €7.5m after her High Court action taken against the HSE and US laboratory Quest Diagnostic in June and said she had the greatest empathy for the other women affected by the scandal.

In a Facebook post she said: “Scally leak: couldn’t care less. Why! Knew it would amount to no accountability.

“My focus is on the Junior Cert results [for some of her children who at the State exams]. I haven’t seen my children in eight days…. still in hospital.

There will come a day in Ireland where people just get fed up and stone Leinster House. There’s a few million of us…..

However, she has vowed to give a full and robust reaction when the report is fully published today.

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