Belfast Telegraph

Varadkar to apologise over CervicalCheck controversy

The Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, will address the Dail on Tuesday.

(left to right) Campaigners Vicky Phelan, Stephen Teap and Lorraine Walsh (Niall Carson/PA)
(left to right) Campaigners Vicky Phelan, Stephen Teap and Lorraine Walsh (Niall Carson/PA)

By Cate McCurry, PA

The Irish premier is expected to apologise to the women and families affected by the CervicalCheck scandal.

The Taoiseach is due to address the Dail on Tuesday.

Some members of the advocacy group 221+, set up for the women affected by the controversy, are expected to watch the proceedings from the Dail gallery.

Health expert Dr Gabriel Scally, who led an inquiry into the scandal, said that a state apology is “a momentous step and quite unprecedented”.

The review into CervicalCheck last year identified at least 221 women diagnosed with cervical cancer who were not previously told about misreported smear tests, and could have been alerted to the early stages of cancer.

Dr Scally found there were serious gaps in the governance structures of the CervicalCheck screening services.

The scandal emerged last year after campaigner Vicky Phelan took legal action.

Ms Phelan, from Co Limerick, settled a High Court action for 2.5 million euro (£2.2 million) after being incorrectly told in 2011 that her smear test had given a negative result for cancer.

The crisis sparked anger across the country and led to a number of independent reports.

PA

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