Rally to support women in cancer controversy

Rally to support women in cancer controversy

Some of the attendance at a rally in support of the women affected by the cervical cancer screening controversy. Picture: Jim Coughlan.

CLOSE to 400 people gathered at City Hall to stand in support of the women affected by the cervical cancer screening controversy.

Many of the crowd wore red, as asked by organisers, and one woman also had the palms of her hand-painted red.

Catherine Coffey, Mayfield at the Cervical Cancer Protest, at City Hall. Picture: Jim Coughlan.
Catherine Coffey, Mayfield at the Cervical Cancer Protest, at City Hall. Picture: Jim Coughlan.

Catherine Coffey from Mayfield said. “Women are dying. Labs were chosen for cost efficiency but I think there should be no cost put on human life.

“We are out here in support of women because the Government won’t answer questions on how this came about.

“They need to ensure it never happens again.”

Megan, Linda and Amy O'Flyynn, from Ballincollig with Maria Barrett, Donoughmore. Picture: Jim Coughlan.
Megan, Linda and Amy O'Flyynn, from Ballincollig with Maria Barrett, Donoughmore. Picture: Jim Coughlan.

Other scandals involving women were mentioned by people in the crowd and speakers, as they called on the Government and the HSE to listen to the affected cancer sufferers needs.

Women impacted by the screening scandal and their supporters went to the Dáil at 5pm to ask for greater support from the Irish health service.

Marie Murphy and Mags McKenns, both from Ballincollig with Lord Mayor Cllr Tony Fitzgerald. Picture: Jim Coughlan.
Marie Murphy and Mags McKenns, both from Ballincollig with Lord Mayor Cllr Tony Fitzgerald. Picture: Jim Coughlan.

Kerry woman Emma Mhic Mhathuna and her five children have launched a High Court action over alleged delays relating to the smear tests.

Other affected women, many of whom are seriously ill, say they are struggling to access the supports the Government have promised. They are asking for a single point of contact to coordinate their care and the group Standing 4 Women organised gatherings nationwide to show that they have the support of the Irish people

Cervical Cancer Protest, at City Hall. Picture: Jim Coughlan.
Cervical Cancer Protest, at City Hall. Picture: Jim Coughlan.

Cork City Lord Mayor Tony Fitzgerald was in City Hall at the time and came out on the steps in a show of solidarity with the gathered crowd.

“Cancer care and support is something that is very important to myself and the Lady Mayoress,” he told the Evening Echo.

“City Hall is the democratic centre for the city and a place for people to gather and show their concern and as First Citizen, I am delighted to facilitate that.”

The crowd gathered in Cork chanted and heard poems, songs and speeches, while many waved banners.

The organisers say they organised the large gathering in four days and said if the Government do not step up there will be more demonstrations and actions planned.

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