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Dublin: 11 °C Saturday 25 October, 2014

Government seeks information from symphysiotomy groups ahead of decision

Health Minister James Reilly and Minister Kathleen Lynch will meet the groups representing the women affected next Tuesday.

Mairin O'Moore (right) and her daughter Eilin O'Moore from the Survivors of Symphysiotomy group pictured in April 2013.
Mairin O'Moore (right) and her daughter Eilin O'Moore from the Survivors of Symphysiotomy group pictured in April 2013.
Image: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

HEALTH MINISTER JAMES Reilly will next week meet the groups representing the women affected by symphysiotomy as the Government has requested more information before making a decision on the matter.

The Government have been under pressure from a number of opposition TDs to provide assurances that the women who underwent the procedure will not only be entitled appropriate redress but that a mechanism will also be put in place where they can take retrospective action through the courts.

After briefing the cabinet on the contents of the report today, Minister James Reilly said tonight that, “the Government has requested some further details from the women themselves in advance of making a final decision on the matter”.

The Minister received the independent report of Prof Oonagh Walsh on 31 May and both he and and Minister Kathleen Lynch will meet the groups representing the women affected next Tuesday to outline his position in advance of publishing the report.

Symphysiotomy is a procedure where the pelvic hinge is deliberately severed, and was carried out between 1942 and the late 1980s – purportedly to facilitate childbirth. It is estimated that around 1500 women had a symphysiotomy, of whom some 150-224 are still alive.

Read: Symphysiotomy survivors want justice for ‘barbaric’ acts >

Read: Mixed response from symphysiotomy survivors to lifting statute of limitations >

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