Statement by Alan Kelly TD on Ruth Morrissey case

03 May 2019

Responding to the judgement in Ruth Morrissey’s case against the HSE, Labour Party Health spokesperson said no woman at the centre of the CervicalCheck scandal should have to go through what Ruth has gone through.

Deputy Kelly said:

“Last May, the Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said that no woman impacted by the failures in CervicalCheck should have to go through the High Court system, yet here we are a year later, with Ruth Morrissey finally ending her gruelling 35 day long case. 

“The Taoiseach promised that those impacted by this scandal would be treated with dignity, and through mediation in a non-confrontational way. What Ruth has gone through is far from that. 

“The case of Ruth Morrissey is heartbreaking, but we need to hear an explanation from the Taoiseach, the Minister for Health and the State Claims Agency why a women who has been given a terminal diagnosis has had to go to court to seek redress.

“This is a disgrace, and can’t happen again. I am at a loss as to why another family has had to go public and fight for decent treatment in the courts.

“All women who are at the centre of this scandal want to enjoy their lives at this point, they should not have to waive their anonymity and deal with all the publicity that comes with that, while dealing with a terminal cancer diagnosis.

“We know more cases are going to come before the High Court and the State is going to lawyer up to take on these women, which completely goes against everything the Taoiseach promised. 

“The question needs to be asked what the State Claims Agency are doing about this? We had been promised that these cases would be resolved without the need for a court hearing.

“The Taoiseach has said the State would seek to settle with the women through mediation and then take cases against the labs, but yet again we see the Government not keeping to the commitments it has made.

“I have welcomed Minister Harris’ establishment of a redress scheme, however this legislation has yet to come the floor of the Dáil. Once the Dáil comes back next week, there are twelve sitting weeks, that is ample time to get this legislation through both Houses of the Oireachtas. Women and their families should not have to wait until the middle of next year for this redress scheme to be established. 

“My thoughts are with Ruth and her family today, I am glad she has received the justice she so greatly deserves but it should never have come to this.”

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