Tributes have been paid to prominent CervicalCheck campaigner Ruth Morrissey who has died at the age of 39.
Mrs Morrissey was among hundreds of women impacted by the controversy around incorrect smear test results.
The issue affecting the CervicalCheck national screening programme saw women receive all clear smear results when in fact a different result warning of cancer should have been flagged.
Mrs Morrissey, from Monaleen in Co Limerick, was initially diagnosed with cervical cancer in 2014.
I was on my own this morning at home when I received the news that I have been dreading for some time now, the news that my good friend and fellow CervicalCheck campaigner Ruth Morrissey has died.— Vicky Phelan (@PhelanVicky) July 19, 2020
Ruth passed away peacefully at Milford Hospice... pic.twitter.com/QWms9G6rH1
She was not told until 2018 that two smear tests she had undergone through the screening programme in 2009 and 2012 were reported incorrectly.
She sued the Health Service Executive (HSE) and two laboratories and was awarded 2.1 million euro in damages at Dublin’s High Court.
The President of Ireland, Michael D Higgins, led the tributes.
“So many people across Ireland will have learned with great sadness of the passing of Ruth Morrissey,” he said.
“Ruth Morrissey’s tremendous courage in an arduous campaign for truth and justice leaves a legacy of courage for all Irish people, and for those campaigning for women’s right to healthcare in particular.
“Sabina and I send our sincere condolences to her husband Paul, their daughter, her family and friends, and to all those who have shared Mrs Morrissey’s journey.”
Taoiseach Micheal Martin said he was deeply saddened by her death.
“Ruth was a brave, courageous woman who worked tirelessly for others and for future generations of women in this country,” he said.
“She was generous of spirit and had the interests of others at heart.
“I wish to extend my sympathies to her husband Paul, her daughter Libby, her family and friends.
“May she rest in peace.”
Fellow campaigner Vicky Phelan, whose case first brought the controversy to light, paid tribute.
“Ruth was one of the strongest women I know, and also one of the most positive,” she wrote on Twitter.
“I never once saw her without a smile on her face and I saw her when she was very ill.
“My thoughts today are with Ruth’s husband Paul and their beautiful daughter Libby who Ruth adored.”