Emma Mhic Mhathúna. RollingNews.ie photo
By Anthony Neeson
The death has taken place of Emma Mhic Mhathúna.
Ms. Mhic Mhathúna, 37, was one of the most high-profile figures from the CervicalCheck screening controversy who in May this year was given a terminal cancer diagnosis. She passed away on Sunday.
The mother-of-five young children from the small fishing village of Baile na nGall in County Kerry was one of 221 women with cervical cancer who may have benefited from earlier treatment, according to a clinical audit. She had received two incorrect smear results.
In June, she settled a case against the Health Service Executive and the U.S. laboratory, Quest Diagnostics, for €7.5million.
A Mass took place on Tuesday at Carraig Church in Ballydavid, West Kerry, followed by removal to St. Mary’s Pro Cathedral in Dublin.
Her funeral Mass will take place on Wednesday and she will be laid alongside her mother Annette at Laraghbryan Cemetery in Maynooth, County Kildare.
Ms. Mhathúna made headlines back in May when she spoke of how she learned she had cancer after having initially been given the all-clear.
Speaking about telling her children that she was dying, she told RTÉ: “I’m crying thinking about it. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do because as a mother it’s my job to protect them and to keep the bad news away from them.
“And we’d such a good day on the confirmation like, my results were ready on Tuesday but I didn’t want to get them because it was their confirmation. And then I had to collect them from school early and tell them that I was dying and it’s just a horrible thing to witness to be honest, there’s so much pain in the house.”
Health Minister, Simon Harris, said: “I am very sad to hear of Emma Mhic Mhathúna’s passing. She showed incredible bravery in fighting a terrible disease.
“My thoughts are with her family especially her five children on this dreadful loss.
“We must beat this awful cancer through vaccination and screening. We will work to build a program worthy of women like Emma.”