Phelan attacks ‘insensitive’ Morrissey claim by Tánaiste

Tánaiste claimed that the State's apology to women in the CervicalCheck crisis included Riuth Morrissey. 
Phelan attacks ‘insensitive’ Morrissey claim by Tánaiste
Ruth Morrissey's husband Paul, says she did not receive an apology. Picture:Michelle Devane/PA Wire

Vicky Phelan has criticised as "insensitive" Tánaiste Leo Varadkar's repeated assertion that Ruth Morrissey was included in a State apology before she died last Sunday.

Hours after the 39-year-old died of cervical cancer, her grieving husband Paul said she never received an apology despite Ruth successfully suing the State, whose appeals against that High Court decision were later rejected by the Supreme Court in March 2020.

A response on behalf of Mr Varadkar just after Pauls' own statement said: “As Taoiseach, he gave a formal State apology to all women and their families affected by the CervicalCheck crisis in October of 2019."

That response sparked outrage, but in an RTÉ Radio interview Friday, Mr Varadkar repeated that she had been included in the State apology.

After that interview, Ms Phelan took to Twitter “in a rage”, as she would later explain.

In a series of tweets labelled, 'In defence of Ruth Morrissey', she told her followers: “Paul Morrissey issued a damning statement following her death stating neither the State nor the HSE apologised to Ruth.

“This is correct. The State apology delivered in October 2019 could NOT have included Ruth Morrissey. At the time of the apology, Ruth's legal team were in court dealing with issues concerning the Supreme Court appeal.

“It was insensitive of the Tánaiste to issue a statement sending his condolences but also refuting the family's statement. 

"Following the unanimous decision of the Supreme Court in March, when Ruth was vindicated, THAT was the time for a meaningful apology, while Ruth was still alive to hear it. Apologies this week from our Taoiseach Micheál Martin and the HSE are meaningless in the wake of her death.”

She also described as "BS" Mr Varadkar's attempt to distance himself from legal decisions initiated against people like Ruth by the State Claims Agency.

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