Dublin South West TD, Seán Crowe, has described the treatment of Ruth Morrissey and the other victims of the cervical smear test, many who are having to appear before the courts, as further compounding the damage and hurt to the women and their families. The Sinn Féin TD said that anyone with even a scintilla of compassion would not force seriously ill women and their families through a court process where they have to sit in a witness box for days on end outlining the most intimate aspects of their lives.
Deputy Seán Crowe TD said:
“The cervical smear scandal only came to light because of the courage and tenacity of women like Vicky Phelan.
“The Taoiseach promised that her battle through the courts would be the last and that no other victim would face legal obstacles and obstruction.
“Clearly he has reneged on his commitment to these women and their families. This week another woman Ruth Morrissey and her immediate family became the latest victims to face the various State organisations barristers through the courts.
“Anyone or any society with even a scintilla of compassion would not force seriously ill women and their families through a court process where they have to sit in a witness box for days on end, outlining the most intimate aspects of their lives and their families.
“Clearly the State by taking the decision to outsource to laboratories abroad for these tests, is complicit in their failure. The Fianna Fail /PD government’s decision to opt for this cheaper service has resulted in this awful health scandal.
“The Government must do what they promised and spare these women and their families from this awful court ordeal. Taoiseach Varadkar must live up to his commitments that he made to the victims of the cervical smear scandal.
“Surely it is fundamentally wrong on so many levels, that terminally ill women, women who may not have long left with their loved ones, have to spend days and weeks of their precious time on this earth inside a cold and adversarial court system.
“The Government needs to be standing with these women, not cruelly forcing them down the road of a lengthy arduous court system.”