RTÉ Radio One’s Ray D’Arcy Show yesterday
On RTÉ’s Ray D’Arcy Show.
Mr D’Arcy spoke with Limerick mum-of-two Vicky Phelan, who has terminal cancer; Cork dad-of-two Stephen Teap, whose wife Irene died last year of cervical cancer, and Lorraine Walsh, from Galway, who cannot conceive due to having had cervical cancer.
The comprehensive hour-long interview with Mr D’Arcy followed the publication of Dr Gabriel Scally’s report into the CervicalCheck screening programme.
In the opening paragraph of his report’s foreword, Dr Scally wrote:
“This major crisis emerged into the public domain because of a failed attempt to disclose the results of a retrospective audit to a large group of women who had, unfortunately, developed cervical cancer. In particular, it emerged because of the extraordinary determination of Vicky Phelan not [to] be silenced. But there are many indications that this was a system that was doomed to fail at some point. “
Yet, at one point, Mr D’Arcy put it to Ms Phelan that she had found herself being criticised over the past few months.
Most notably, on August 1, Ms Phelan tweeted to say she was taking a break from Twitter and commenting publicly on the scandal, while mentioning that some people had been “condemning” her for “bringing down the cervical screening programme”.
Three weeks later, on August 21, Eilish O’Regan, in the Irish Independent, reported that there had been no fall-off in the number of women going for smear tests with CervicalCheck – despite the controversy.
Ms Phelan has repeatedly encouraged women to continue to get smear tests via CervicalCheck in all her interviews.
From yesterday’s discussion…
Ray D’Arcy: “I find it hard to believe, Vicky Phelan, but you have your critics. People are…”
Vicky Phelan: “Oh I’ve, by god, I do.”
D’Arcy: “And what are they saying?”
Phelan: “They’re not, you see, they’re clever enough in that they’re not explicitly saying, you know, mentioning me but, you know, it’s kind of going around about the house, saying that ‘all of these women’, you know with, ‘their obscene payouts’ will, you know, ‘bring down this screening programme’ and ‘screening saves lives’. But sure I’ve never said anything but, I’ve always said screening saves lives.”
“All I’ve ever said and I’ve never changed, and I’ve never wavered was that I had an issue with the way CervicalCheck was run. And I am vindicated today.”
D’Arcy: “Completely vindicated.”
Stephen Teap: “100% you are, yeah.”
Phelan: “Thank god, is all I can say. So I hope some people will eat humble pie I can tell you.”
D’Arcy: “They should read the report and come back to you.”
Via RTE Radio One
Previously: Cruel Summer