‘Goodnight my sweetheart, until we meet again’ - Tributes paid to Patricia Carrick

Tributes to Patricia Carrick led by her husband Damien and President Michael D Higgins 
‘Goodnight my sweetheart, until we meet again’ - Tributes paid to Patricia Carrick

Patricia Carrick. Photo taken by her son Ciarán MacChoncarraige

President Michael D Higgins has led tributes to Patricia Carrick, the woman Taoiseach Micheál Martin apologised to on behalf of the State because her cancer was missed by CervicalCheck.

The 51-year-old, known as Trish to her family and friends, died surrounded by her family at their home in Galway in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

By her side were husband Damien, eldest son Ciarán, daughters Ríoghna and Sorcha, and youngest son Eoin.

Damien said: “I am heartbroken for me and for our children.

"We have lost a wonderful person.

I am heartbroken for her family and mine and our extended family and our friends."

Earlier this month, Mr Martin had addressed her in a statement he read out to the Dáil.

It followed the unprecedented apology and admission of negligence she won last month from the HSE and from the laboratory which missed her cancer.

Patricia had been too ill to attend last month’s court victory, which saw her awarded €2.75m.

Damien, in an in-depth interview with the Irish Examiner afterwards, had said it was his and his dying wife’s wish the State should apologise for what had happened to her.

In his Dáil statement, Mr Martin said Patricia had been "badly let down" and her family "is going through the very worst of times because of the mistakes of others".

And he said: "On behalf of the Government and on behalf of the nation, I offer my genuine and heartfelt apologies.

“You have been failed.”

The couple, who met 30 years ago, would have celebrated their 27th wedding anniversary next March.

"She is the love of my life,” Damien said.

We have been through many challenges together and we have always prevailed.

"The best mother that anyone could wish for and a wonderful wife.

"A true friend and a great sister, daughter, aunt, niece and cousin.”

Referring to the couple’s stillborn baby girl in 1996, he added: "Trish is making her journey now to be reunited with our baby girl Aisling and to be with her mother.

"Our journey now takes a different path, one with Trish by our sides to guide us and to give us the strength to live our lives to the full, exactly as Trish would have wanted.

Goodnight my sweetheart, my Trish, my lovely wife, and wonderful mother. Until we meet again."

Patricia Carrick, Ciarán (left) and Damien Carrick, their daughters Ríoghna and Sorcha, and their youngest son Eoin (front).
Patricia Carrick, Ciarán (left) and Damien Carrick, their daughters Ríoghna and Sorcha, and their youngest son Eoin (front).

President Higgins, who is a friend of the family, said: "I know Patricia’s courage, which I know she held to the very end, and her grace as a campaigner provide some solace to her loved ones at this difficult time. 

It is also appropriate at this time to think of all those who were failed by a system in which they had trusted, and their loved ones.”

A spokesperson for the 221+ group of CervicalCheck survivors said: “Our deepest sympathy to the family of 221+ member Patrica Carrick, who lost her courageous battle and passed away.”

Cancer campaigner Vicky Phelan said: “Another beautiful lady has been taken far too soon.”

Patricia had sued after she discovered, with the help of Ms Phelan’s solicitor Cian O'Carroll and Damien, CervicalCheck misread a scan in 2016.

By the time her cancer was eventually diagnosed in July 2019, it was too late to do anything about it other than try and buy time with her family.

Before last month’s High Court victory, Patricia had had to fight for the smallest resource to help her — being placed, at one point, on a two-year waiting list for a specialist shower chair.

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