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'It's a better forum than the High Court': Taoiseach says CervicalCheck tribunal should be given a chance to work

His comments come after reports that the tribunal has yet to receive a single claim, more than two months after it started its work.

THE CERVICALCHECK TRIBUNAL “should be given a chance”, Taoiseach Micheál Martin told the Dáil today.

His comments come after reports that the tribunal has yet to receive a single claim, more than two months after it started its work.

An outreach programme to inform the public of its existence and how to bring a case to the tribunal is to be launched.

When asked about the matter during Leaders’ Questions, Martin said the tribunal is a better option than going to the High Court, and that it should be given a chance.

“I am genuinely asking as someone who has been involved in this issue for some years: have we learned anything? Are we doing everything we possibly can for these families which the State let down?” Labour’s Alan Kelly asked the Taoiseach today.

Kelly said nobody has applied to the tribunal “because it is not fit for purpose”, in terms of queries coming through about transfer of cases and so on.

He said the women with cervical cancer “will not end up at the tribunal, they will all – or at the very least the majority – will end up in the High Court”.

Et3VrEgXMAEb6ee Labour's Alan Kelly raising the issue of the CervicalCheck tribunal in the Dail today Source: Oireachtas.ie

“The issues of liability and negligence are two very important but distinct issues. Negligence has to be proven in all situations, be it in a tribunal or a High Court setting. The laboratories in all of these cases have been prove to be negligent and the State has indemnified them. There has to be the establishment of negligence.

“I believe the tribunal offers a better forum than the High Court. It gives a great opportunity for mediation and in my view would be more expeditious and effective. It is a forum that should be given a chance given all of the work that has been put into it,” said the Taoiseach.

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Martin said the tribunal is receiving queries, however, Kelly maintained there are zero cases before the tribunal.

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