To seriously tackle domestic violence we have to understand its social roots It’s not just a question of individual bad men – it is a product of society that for many centuries has treated women as second or third class citizens, and worse has regarded them as the ‘property’ of men, in particular seeing wives as the property of their husbands. And in a society based on the idea that the rights of private property are sacred we all know that you can do what you want with your property. For decades the state, the courts and the police, have turned a blind eye to violence experienced by women and children under the cover of the well-known phrase “Its only a domestic dispute”. Those days are over now, while around the world women are saying not only “me too” but “no more”. So why don’t they leave? Is the reaction of many people when they hear of the abuse of a woman (mostly it is women, but sometimes men). Fear is one reason, the fear that if they don’t succeed in getting away from the abuser, it will be all the worse for them. And they are right – research shows that some of the most horrific cases of violence are against those who try to leave. But a huge factor is that THEY HAVE NOWHERE TO GO. Ireland has around a quarter of the recommended places of safety for women and children. The situation has become worse during the pandemic – around 2,000 women and 400 children each month since March, seeking refuge from a violent situation. The fact that support for vulnerable women and children is left to charities, is a disgrace. The State should, and could, adequately fund the essential services of providing refuge and support for such women. The fact that they don’t is reminiscent of the Magdalen institutions where the State also wiped it’s hands of responsibility. Shame on successive governments that allow this situation to continue.

I  made several queries at the Dail committee today. Apart from the mess they have made of re-testing, there remain unanswered questions.

Since this time last year, I have been asking what labs gave the wrong results that led to 221 women having their cervical cancer go unnoticed. I believe that labs in the US are the ones involved. They were the cheaper option, a ‘for-profit’ company that failed women like Vikki Phealan. Outsourcing is the root of it. So I’m relieved to know the government intends, eventually, to re-patriate the service. Meantime, I’m still waiting the for the answer. 

SIMPLE QUESTION: WHAT LABS FAILED US? My 5th time to ask this in the Dáil – still no answer. Its important because 221 women, some of whom are dead, some dying, need not have developed #CervicalCancer. Outsourcing women’s health care to the cheapest bidder in the ‘marketplace’ was a POLITICAL DECSION and it has to stop. Yes, bad management and incompetent governance practices made a bad situation worse, but bottom line is the political choices made by successive governments who refuse to ANSWER FOR THEIR ROLE in the catastophe that is the cervical screening scandal. And now 6000 women need to be retested because of more imcompetent HSE/Dept of Health management decisions. What are they like??


Media Release- Bríd Smith TD, People Before Profit    12/11/2018

Request follows PAC committee hearing that reveals HSE reviewed the cases of the 221 women at the centre of crisis

“This information should be public and is the least the family of Julie O’Reilly and other women deserve,” says TD

People Before Profit TD Bríd Smith has formally complained to the Dáil’s Ceann Comhairle over the repeated refusal of the HSE and the Health Minister to answer a question on the cervical check scandal.

The TD has claimed that since May she has repeatedly asked the HSE to list the laboratories from which the 221 negligently misread slides came from. The question has never been answered despite assurances from ex HSE boss Tony O’Brien that it would be.Read more »

The cause of the #cervicalcheck tragedy has still not been addressed or acknowledged. We need to end the outsourcing and privatisation of our health as it puts profits before best practice and peoples needs. This short video explains and asks why after months of asking a simple question we still cant get a answer – What labs do the 221 false negatives come from?