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Dublin: 5 °C Tuesday 12 November, 2019

'The Government is attempting to deny symphysiotomy victims access to the courts' - Clare Daly

Dublin North TD Clare Daly says that any comparison between redress schemes for Magdalene and symphysiotomy survivors is ‘wholly inappropriate’.


UNITED LEFT ALLIANCE TD Clare Daly today angrily accused the Government of putting redress for the survivors of symphysiotomy ‘on the long finger’.

Speaking during today’s Leaders’ Questions, Daly told of a survivor , Mary Kerr, who died recently and, Daly said ‘will never see justice’. Echoing a remark made by the Taoiseach in connection with Magdalene survivors, Daly said that ‘time is not on [symphysiotomy victims'] side’. However, she argued that that is where the comparison ended.

“This isn’t a matter of health, it’s a matter of justice,” said Daly, adding  ”This isn’t a comparison with Magdalene laundries, this is a question of gross negligence of medical treatment.”

Speaking about the delay in redress, Daly said that there ‘could only be one conclusion’.

Far from grappling with the legacy and justice of this issue, the Government appears to be attempting to deny access to the courts to these aging victims by long fingering these issues. And I don’t make that point in any way lightly.

The Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore said that the Government was taking the issue seriously and that Health Minister James Reilly was examining the Walsh report on the practice.

“I can give the assurance that this government is listening and will listen to [the victims]. This has been an issue of concern from the beginning and is raised from all sides of the house regularly. It is an issue of immediate concern.”

Daly hit back, however saying that the Government’s actions ‘indicate they are embarking on a path contrary to the wishes of the victims’, adding that victims would be seeking between €250,000 and €400,000 in compensation.

Read: Symphysiotomy survivors “repudiate” Walsh report

Read: Government condemned by symphysiotomy group for “underhand approach”

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