Mary Lou McDonald expresses condolences to the families of the victims of the cervical cancer scandal

Sinn Féin Leader  Mary Lou McDonald has expressed her deep sadness this evening at the news that a number of the 206 women who developed cervical cancer, despite an earlier clear smear test, have since died.

Speaking this evening Teachta McDonald said;

“I am deeply saddened to learn of these deaths this evening and I extend my condolences to the families, loved ones and friends of those women.

“No words of sorrow can ever compensate them for the grief visited on them

“When this scandal broke, because of the bravery of Vicky Phelan, we asked if there were more Vicky Phelans.  It is now with terrible sadness the we learn that there were.

“This scandal raises the most serious questions for Cervical Check, the HSE and for the government. It is our duty to get answers to those questions.

“We need to know how many of the 206 women have died.  At what stage did Cervical check, the HSE and the minister become aware of these fatalities?

“Did the women know of their smear misdiagnosis prior to their deaths? Were their families informed of the smear misdiagnosis?

“Was information deliberately withheld from the women and their families?

“Who is responsible for withholding this information? Who will be held accountable for withholding information from the women and their families?

“Answers to these questions must be put into the public domain. The cynical game of cat and mouse, drip feeding information must stop.”