Tag Archives: Vicky Phelan

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Vicky Phelan

In today’s Irish Times,  Health Correspondent Paul Cullen has an interview with Limerick mother-of-two Vicky Phelan – one year on from her High Court case where she settled a case against Clinical Pathology Laboratories Inc, Austin, Texas, for €2.5million.

Ms Phelan, who refused to sign a gagging order about her case, was diagnosed with terminal cancer following a cervical smear test error.

Following her case, it later emerged that more than 200 women diagnosed with cancer were not informed of an audit which revised their earlier, negative smear tests.

Mr Cullen reports:

“…Ms Phelan said the Taoiseach ‘just doesn’t get it’ in relation to fixing the problems that have arisen.

‘The classic example is him going on Six One News saying no woman would ever have to go into court, and look what’s happened. That’s still the case and not only that, the tribunal has not yet been established in order for that not to happen.

I don’t think he gets it at all. And it’s not just because he’s a gay man, I just don’t think he gets it.’

…’I think we got a lot of promises made at the time, not to shut us up but to “give them what they want quickly and get them off the pages”.

‘Until we have a situation in this country where people are held accountable for what they’ve done, these things are just going to keep happening and there’ll be another scandal,’ she said.”

Meanwhile, during an interview with Miriam O’Callaghan on RTE’s Today with Sean O’Rourke this morning, Ms Phelan apologised for and clarified her ‘gay man’ comment (above).

She said:

“I’m critical of the Government in general. I suppose, I think some of what I said was taken out of context and I would like to apologise to the Taoiseach for the comment in today’s article.

“What I said, I was trying to make the point that the issues faced by the women and their families are wide-ranging, they involve input from a wide range of players, from the Department of Health to the HSE, legal profession, the medical profession, and the Attorney General’s office to draft up this legislation.

“And basically any unwillingness or inertia on the part of one player can hold everything up and that is exactly what has happened over the last 12 months.”

Asked specifically what she was trying to say when she made the “gay man” comment, Vicky said:

“This is a women’s issue and it’s always about women, that was the point I was making. It wasn’t anything to do with the Taoiseach being gay, whatsoever. That was totally taken out of context.”

“We’ve seen it on a number of occasions over the last number of years, Miriam, between the different scandals that have happened to women. Bridget McCole, the Hepatitis C scandal…I think we have a very poor record and poor history in this country in dealing with women’s issues.”

Vicky Phelan criticises Varadkar for ‘unacceptable delays’ (Paul Cullen, The Irish Times)

Listen back to interview in full here


Vicky Pelan


In the Irish Mail on Sunday.

Valerie Hanley reported that 92 women are suing the State over the CervicalCheck smear test scandal.

Ms Hanley also reported that 80 per cent of these cases have been lodged since Limerick mum-of-two Vicky Phelan settled her High Court action against Clinical Pathology Laboratories in Austin, Texas, for €2.5 million, last April.

Vicky Phelan (Twitter)

92 women suing State over CervicalCheck smear tests misreading scandal (Valerie Hanley, Extra)

This afternoon.

BBC  announced its list of “100 inspiring and influential women from around the world for 2018”.


(75) Vicky Phelan exposed the CervicalCheck Screening scandal in Ireland, after discovering she and hundreds of other women were not told they had been given incorrect smear test results.

In fairness.

BBC 100 Women 2018: Who is on the list? (BBC)

Yesterday’s Sunday Business Post


The Sunday Business Post published a lengthy interview with former chief of the HSE Tony O’Brien, his first interview since he left the organisation in May, following the cervical check scandal.

In the interview, Mr O’Brien said the Minister for Health Simon Harris acted like a “frightened little boy” during the CervicalCheck controversy and said he’s a weak minister obsessed with media coverage and “runs scared of headlines”.

He said the Public Accounts Committee acted like “a kangaroo court”, and he specifically accused Sinn Féin of being “destructive”.

He said Sinn Féin had “effectively swapped the balaclava for parliamentary privilege”, adding that “the bile and vitriol with which they attack public servants continuously is staggering”.

He also said he hoped a “sense of decorum and fairness would return to Irish political life and to the mainstream Irish media”.

Further to this…

Limerick mum-of-two Vicky Phelan has tweeted her thoughts on the interview.

In April Ms Phelan sued a US laboratory for misreading her cervical smear test and received a settlement of €2.5million in the High Court.

After Ms Phelan went public on the matter, it emerged that 221 women with cervical cancer, whose previous smear tests were reviewed after they received a diagnosis of cancer, were not told that their smear tests had actually been recategorised on review and that they could have been advised to have an earlier follow-up or warned of an increased risk of developing cancer.

Meanwhile, Cork dad-of-two Stephen Teap, whose late wife Irene was one of the 221 women, also responded to the article…

And Lorraine Walsh, from Galway, who is also one of the 221 women and who cannot have children as a result of her cervical cancer, also responded…

Ex-HSE chief: Harris is a weak minister, the PAC is a ‘kangaroo court’ (Susan Mitchell, Sunday Business Post)

Last night.

Limerick mum-of-two Vicky Phelan (top), who has terminal cancer, tweeted:

One delighted parent here signing consent forms for the #hpvvaccine for my daughter, Amelia. 6 months ago, I didn’t think I would be here to consent to this vaccine that will mean my daughter will NEVER get cervical cancer. Parents pls consent to this life-saving vaccine.

Previously: ‘I Hope Some People Will Eat Humble Pie’

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

Limerick mum-of-two Vicky Phelan, who settled her case against Clinical Pathology Laboratories in Austin, Texas on April 25, and a tweet from July 31 

On July 31 last, terminally ill Limerick mum-of-two Vicky Phelan tweeted that she was taking a break from campaigning about the CervicalCheck scandal.

In a series of tweets, she said she was “deeply disturbed by the lack of empathy in some quarters towards the women and families affected by the scandal”.

She also mentioned that some people had been condemning her for apparently “bringing down the cervical screening programme”.

Further to this…

Eilish O’Regan, in the Irish Independent, reports:

The number of women availing of routine cervical screening offered by CervicalCheck has remained steady – and even increased in certain instances – despite concerns that publicity about the scandal would turn women away from the free tests, new figures reveal.

“The take-up of routine BreastCheck appointments by women who can avail of a free mammogram every two years has also not fallen.

“Figures obtained by the Irish Independent for CervicalCheck, which has a target coverage rate of 80pc of eligible women, show that up to the end of May it was at 79.8pc.”

No fall-off in women availing of cancer screening amid scandal (Irish Independent)

Related: Phelan’s crusade must now fix system (Justine McCarthy, The Sunday Times, August 5, 2018)

Previously: Cruel Summer


Vicky Phelan outside Government Buildings this afternoon ahead of a meeting with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar

Last night.

Limerick mum-of-two Vicky Phelan announced she’s taking a break from Twitter and campaigning on the CervicalCheck cancer screening scandal.

Vicky is meeting with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar this afternoon.

Earlier this week, Vicky told Miriam O’Callaghan, on RTÉ Radio One, that she planned to ask him to make good on his promise that women affected by the scandal wouldn’t have to be “dragged” through the courts.

Previously: Vicky Phelan on Broadsheet

Pic: Rollingnews

Vicky Phelan at Glencairn House last night

Last night.

At the British ambassador’s residence Glencairn House in Leopardstown, Dublin where visiting Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were treated to a garden party, during which they met Vicky Phelan.

Limerick mum-of-two Vicky was recently awarded €2.5 million in a settlement against Clinical Pathology Laboratories in Austin, Texas – which receives outsourced smear tests from Ireland.

She was given an incorrect result smear test result in 2011 and subsequently diagnosed with cervical cancer in 2014.

She was only informed of the 2011 misdiagnosis last year.

Stephanie Grogran tweetz:

Vicky Phelan met Prince Harry and Meghan this evening. Meghan told her she had been following her story and to keep going. #royalvisitireland

Previously: Vicky Phelan on Broadsheet