Wednesday, 13 March 2019
Ceisteanna ar Reachtaíocht a Gealladh - Questions on Promised Legislation
Niall Collins (Limerick County, Fianna Fail)
I have been asked by the family of a constituent, Ms Ruth Morrissey, to raise her case. Unfortunately, she has cervical cancer and was failed by the State and HSE in the cervical cancer screening programme. Last May, the Taoiseach said the following on "Six One News" regarding people who have to go to court to seek damages and all the trauma that goes with that: "What we propose to do is to offer mediation in every case so that women can avoid having to go to court and the trauma of a court hearing." He went on to say:
What we will do in this situation is the State will settle and pursue the lab later. So, essentially the State will be on the side of the plaintiff, on the side of the woman.
Late on Monday, Ruth Morrissey was summoned to the High Court for a hearing yesterday, at which she was subjected to a pretty robust and traumatising cross-examination by counsel for the HSE. Her family is quite upset about it. It calls into question the commitment given to the women by the Taoiseach, namely, that mediation would be offered. Is the Tánaiste happy that the mediation process that the Attorney General was supposed to counsel the State Claims Agency to enter into in a meaningful way is being engaged in? Is he satisfied the women who have been failed are being treated sensitively and properly by the State Claims Agency and that a proper mediation processes is being engaged in?