Belfast Telegraph

Dying mum (37) engulfed by Republic cancer scandal breaks down on radio

By Laura Lynott

An Irish mother has called for "real action and consequence" in the wake of the CervicalCheck cancer scandal in the Republic.

Terminally-ill Emma Mhic Mhathuna (37) yesterday wept on RTE radio, admitting she feared her baby would not remember her.

The devoted mother is one of 209 women who've fallen victim to the scandal, tearing lives apart daily.

But Emma, who suffers from crippling pain, says she does not want to die without influencing major political, healthcare and legal change in a country now dogged by this controversy.

Emma, from Co Kerry, said she made sure her five children were asleep when she was interviewed on radio.

"Today when the kids were going to school, I had to reassure them I'm not going to die when they're in school," Ms Mhic Mhathuna said.

"The children are trying to process what's going on and they're frightened. The school is amazing."

Emma said that she is furious at how the scandal has unravelled and said: "The time for talk is gone.

"It's time for action, consequences and new legislation.

"It's time for a snap election because this government, this State, is not minding me and my children or any other women and children in this country.

"The government chose to have public, responsible roles. Maybe they didn't think something like this would happen but they're not doing what they're being paid to do, they're not capable of their jobs.

"I'm dying but still trying to be a mother by making sure my children are left in a country that is safe, but I don't feel it is safe.

"When this scandal emerged, it was the time for the government to shine, to show us what they're made of.

"But the Minister of Health is all talk, the Taoiseach is just as bad as Minister Harris and Tony O'Brien (the director of the Health Service Executive, who resigned last night).

"The three of them are in it together... in the headlights, not one of them knows what to do."

The former student, who'd decided to devote the remainder of her life to being a full-time mum, said what was occurring felt sickening.

"We are lying in bed, no one broke down the door, no one left a mark on us but we are under attack," she said. "They lied and it's disgusting. I'm angry, they're telling us, 'you don't have cancer,' when we do.

"The lie goes on until we're terminal, it's inhuman and goes against a moral society. They are killing us."

Ms Ms Mhic Mhathuna said that she worries for the future of her five children, where they will live without her and if the youngest will recall her face.

"I might do a little video and come back for each of his birthdays," Ms Mhic Mhathuna said of her two-year-old son, who's normally "boisterous" but who has been "clinging" to his mother in recent days.

"In the videos, I'll talk to him and say, 'You're nine today... and 10," she added, before breaking down.

Belfast Telegraph

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