A Candlelit vigil will be held in Galway city centre this evening in memory of all of the victims of the cervical cancer smear test scandal.
The Galway Council of Trade Unions is hosting this vigil on Nollaig na mban to commemorate Emma Mhic Mhathuna and all the other women who have lost time or their lives to cervical cancer needlessly because of this tragedy.
The smear test scandal affects over 220 women with cervical cancer who might have benefited from earlier treatment, many of whom have since died.
Dr Gabriel Scally led a review into CervicalCheck which delivered a damning report on the system, and made 50 recommendations.
The Council says the government must act on all of the recommendations contained within the Scally report to see that this doesn’t repeat itself.
Marian Spelman, President of the Galway Council of Trade Unions says it is imperative that the Government secure a licence for quality cervical smear testing in Ireland or at least in Europe and make it available to Irish women.
“It is not good enough for the women of Ireland that members of cabinet feel angry or saddened on our behalf.”
“This holds cold comfort for the families of the women who have died and for those who now have incurable cancer due to a late diagnosis,” she said.
Local representatives and councillors are also invited to the vigil to show their support and keep this issue on the agenda until the Scally report has been fully implemented.
The vigil will begin at 6pm in Eyre Square, and Marian wants make it plain that this isn’t to women, as men and women alike have been hurt by this.
“This isn’t gender based as partners, fathers, sons etc have been left grieving by the premature deaths of loved ones to cervical cancer.”
“Implementing the Scally recommendations now will not only save lives but hopefully prevent similar scandals in the future.”