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Dublin: 10 °C Tuesday 22 October, 2019

Survivors of Symphysiotomy group to present petition ahead of Dáil decision

Government is due to decide later this month on whether the statute of limitations should be set aside for survivors seeking legal recourse.

Members of the Survivors of Symphysiotomy campaign group (file photo).
Members of the Survivors of Symphysiotomy campaign group (file photo).
Image: Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland

A PETITION WITH over 20,000 names calling for justice for the victims of symphysiotomy is to be handed into Leinster House at midday today.

The Survivors of Symphysiotomy (SOS) group is to present the petition to the All Party Victims of Symphysiotomy Oireachtas Support Group, ahead of a government decision later this month as to whether the statute of limitations will be set aside for survivors of the surgical procedure.

The chair of SOS, Marie O’Connor, told that an acknowledgement that these operations were wrong “is long overdue”.

“These were covert operations that were bordering on clandestine,” she said, adding:

Women weren’t told what was happening to them. Not one of our over 200 members consented to this operation. The women left hospital not knowing that their pelvises had been broken.

“They continued not knowing this for several decades,” she said. “It’s taken a very very long time for them to piece it all together.”

Sinn Féin deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin, along with other members of the oireachtas group, will deliver the petition to the office of the Minister for Health, Dr James Reilly.

The SOS group have said that “lifting the statute bar would be a humanitarian act”.

Read: Symphysiotomy survivors gather to recount stories of torture >

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Paul Hyland

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