Handling of Morrissey case raises serious moral issues for Harris & Varadkar

17 June 2019

Labour Party Health spokesperson, Alan Kelly TD, has criticised the Government over State Claims Agency’s handling of their appeal of the Ruth Morrissey case.

Deputy Kelly said:

“The handling of the State’s decision to appeal the decision of the High Court in relation to Ruth Morrissey has been extremely cack-handed and raises serious moral questions for this Government.

“Ruth and her family have been through enough, 36 days in the High Court on top of a very serious illness which she is battling. The manner in which she found out about this appeal – through the media has been extremely callous. We know through statements by her solicitor that Ruth has been quite unwell since her case concluded in the High Court, the least her family deserve is being told about the State’s intentions in an appropriate way. In fact they still have not been told officially.

“Because of the delay in the decision to appeal this case, it is unlikely that this case will heard before the courts again this side of summer. This will lead to another summer of uncertainty for Ruth who has already had a gruelling time before our courts. Appealing the case leaves uncertainty for her in so many ways and this is morally wrong.

“Minister Harris now needs to step up and ensure that Ruth and her family are provided for and her fight through the High Court on behalf of the women of Ireland has not been in vain.

“Some of the arguments made by the State Claims Agency in their appeal are bizarre. Appealing that the HSE aren’t liable for the screening programme is worrying for the future of our health service.

“When this matter makes it to the Supreme Court questions will need to be answered as to why the State Claims Agency are raising the very issues that they didn’t raise during the High Court case when they had the opportunity to do so.

“The Taoiseach promised that women impacted by this scandal would be treated with dignity and through non-confrontational mediation. What Ruth has gone through in the High Court and this appeal is the opposite of that.”

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