“Two years since Emma Mhic Mhathúna passed away and what has changed?” – Tóibín
Aontú leader Peadar Tóibín TD has called on the government to set aside time for an ‘urgent’ debate on cervical check in the Dáil. Speaking in light of the victory of Patricia Carrick in the High Court, Deputy Tóibín said:
“Two years ago today news broke at lunchtime that Emma Mhic Mhathúna had died after her battle with cancer. Many people in Ireland remember where they were when news broke of Emma’s passing. It is a shocking reflection on this government and the last, that today, on the two year anniversary of her death we are reading newspaper reports of another woman, who was dragged through the legal system before her case was settled yesterday in the High Court. Despite the fact that Leo Varadkar promised that no other terminally ill woman would be dragged through the courts”.
Deputy Tóibín continued: “Her name is Patricia Carrick. She is a mother of four. She is 51 years old. She was too ill to attend court yesterday. Patricia's husband has said that she went for all of her smear tests and was very diligent with looking after her health. In February 2019, she had a smear test which was reported as showing no abnormalities. She was diagnosed with cervical cancer a few months later. Now the timeline here is very important. The Cervical check scandal had already broke and Emma Mhic Mhathúna had passed away four months previously when Patricia took a smear test which missed abnormalities”.
“The government and HSE must now come clean with all the information. They need to tell us what they know. How is that nearly a year after the scandal broke abnormalities were still being missed in Cervical Check smear tests? How is it that in February 2019 a smear test came back normal for a woman who was then diagnosed with cervical cancer a few months later? I wish to offer my sincerest sympathy and prayers to the Carrick family. Patricia’s case warrants urgent discussion in the Dáil chamber. The fact that there seems to have been mistakes with smear tests last year, nearly a year after the scandal first broke is an extremely alarming development – the government must now clarify what they knew, when they knew it and what the current status is with cervical check, what labs are being used and what the current size of the backlog is”, concluded Deputy Tóibín.