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Dublin: 14°C Tuesday 28 June 2022

Patricia Carrick - who received apology from Taoiseach over missed cervical cancer diagnosis - has died

Patricia Carrick passed away peacefully overnight, her husband said.

Image: Ciaran Carrick

A MOTHER-OF-four who received a State apology earlier this month over her missed cervical cancer diagnosis has died.

Patricia Carrick had gone for a smear test in 2016 but was told there were no abnormalities found. She was later diagnosed with cervical cancer, and was informed her diagnosis was terminal just a few months ago.

She received a settlement of €2.75 million in damages in October, and received an apology from the HSE and a testing laboratory for a smear test which they acknowledged was read in a manner that was negligent.

Her husband Damien confirmed this morning that she passed away peacefully overnight.

He said: “She was comfortable throughout and is now at peace. Thank you for all of your support. Damien, Ciarán, Ríoghna, Sorcha and Eoin.”

Among those paying tribute today was President Michael D Higgins.

He said in a statement: “As President of Ireland, mar Uachtarán na hÉireann, may I express the sorrow of the people of Ireland and our sympathies with her family and friends.

“I spoke to her husband Damien and family on 1 November and to her father Pat O’Sullivan, a long-time friend, at the beginning of November. Patricia’s and Damien’s families were well-known to me for years.

I know that Patricia’s courage, which I know she held to the very end, and her grace as a campaigner, provide some solace to her loved ones at this difficult time.
It is also appropriate at this time to think of all those who were failed by a system in which they had trusted, and their loved ones.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin began Leader’s Questions in the Dáil today paying tribute to Patricia.

In issuing an apology earlier this month, Martin said he had spoken to Damien Carrick to talk about the “terrible experience” of the Carrick family.

Martin said they were a happy family looking forward to life but on 29 July Patricia got a call telling her it was likely she had cancer. In September of this year, Patricia was told the cancer was terminal. 

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“It didn’t have to be this way. In May 2016, Trish went for her scheduled smear test, a health procedure that she always took very seriously, and never missed,” he said. 

“If there had been an accurate reading of this sample, Trisha’s cancer would have been identified in good time, the appropriate treatment would have been given, and chances are she and Damien would have been reflecting together on a worrying time in their lives with the illness well behind them. But there wasn’t an accurate reading. 

The cancer was missed, the cancer spread, and the cancer is now terminal. Last Friday, I spoke to Damien and apologised. On that call, he said he, Trish and the family would appreciate it if I would apologise in public. I have absolutely no hesitation in doing so.
Trish was badly let down and your family is going to the very worst of times because of the mistakes of others.

Speaking in the Dáil following this apology, independent TD Thomas Pringle added: “The real thing we can do is to make sure an apology never has to be given in this House again.”

With reporting from Adam Daly

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Sean Murray

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