Tributes pour in for Emma Mhic Mhathúna

Source: IrishHealth.com

October 8, 2018

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  • Tributes have been pouring in for mother of five, Emma Mhic Mhathúna, who died on Sunday morning at the age of 37.

    Ms Mhic Mhathúna was one of the women at the centre of the CervicalCheck crisis earlier this year and had become well known to the public after speaking out about her case.

    She was found to have received incorrect smear test results during a clinical audit of past tests, which was carried out by CervicalCheck. She was one of 221 women who were found to have received incorrect results.

    In May of this year, she was told that her cancer was terminal. She insisted that if she had been correctly diagnosed, she would have survived the disease. Her youngest child is just two years old.

    She took a case against the HSE and the US laboratory, Quest Diagnostics. This case was settled for €7.5 million in June after Quest admitted to misreading two cervical smear slides, first in 2010 and then in 2013. The HSE meanwhile admitted liability for not disclosing the findings of the audit carried out by CervicalCheck.

    Ms Mhic Mhathúna had been on trial treatments, but unfortunately her cancer spread and she died in University Hospital Kerry.

    In a statement, her family said that her ‘unending and unwavering commitment to her children means that her abiding legacy will be that of a great mother'.

    "However, Emma will also be remembered as someone who fought for social justice in an exceptionally selfless way during times of great personal challenge," the statement said.

    It added that her family would miss her ‘beyond words'.

    Responding to the news, President Michael D Higgins said he was ‘greatly saddened' to hear of Ms Mhic Mhathúna's death. He noted that when he met her and her children in May, he was ‘greatly struck by her poise and bravery in the midst of what was a very difficult time for her, her family and friends'.

    The Minister for Health, Simon Harris, said that he was ‘very sad' to hear of her passing and that she had shown ‘incredible bravery in fighting a terrible disease'.

    Vicky Phelan, whose High Court settlement last April originally exposed the non-disclosure of incorrect smear tests, described Ms Mhic Mhathúna as a formidable woman who had a huge impact.

    Her funeral mass will take place at Carraig Church in Ballydavid in west Kerry on Tuesday morning at 11am. Her removal will take place at St Mary's Pro Cathedral in Dublin on Tuesday afternoon. A mass will take place on Wednesday at 12.45pm.

    She will be buried alongside her mother at Laraghbryan Cemetery in Maynooth, Co Kildare.


    © Medmedia Publications/IrishHealth.com 2018