Mr Coveney has promised that accountability will be reached in the ongoing cervical cancer scandal after his neighbour Stephen Teap spoke about the heartbreak of losing his wife Irene to cervical cancer following two false negative smear test results in 2010 and 2013.
However, Mr Coveney has stopped short of supporting a call by Mr Teap for the HSE boss Tony O’Brien to resign.
Mr Coveney said: “Stephen is a neighbour of mine, I went to see him over the weekend. Of course I want to help him, he had an absolutely horrific experience, whereby he has been let down by the HSE and he is now raising two young boys on his own and trying to cope with the knowledge that if he and Irene had known earlier about her early onset of cancer, then perhaps she would be alive today.”
Mr Coveney said he had huge sympathy for Mr Teap.
“It is a really difficult thing for him to manage and he is demanding that we learn lessons from his tragedy so that it doesn’t happen again in the future.