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University of Limerick to award Vicky Phelan with honorary doctorate

Vicky Phelan’s story sparked an investigation into how smear tests in Ireland are reviewed and handled.

VICKY PHELAN 758A2359_90545064 Vicky Phelan to appear before Public Accounts Committee. Source: Eamonn Farrell

VICKY PHELAN IS to be given an honorary doctorate by the University of Limerick.

The university said that the award would be given “in recognition of her exceptional commitment to improving women’s healthcare in Ireland”.

Vicky Phelan, a graduate and former employee of UL, has shown tremendous courage and determination since her diagnosis of terminal cervical cancer.
Erudite, articulate and forthright, Vicky has contributed to uncovering a scandal which has affected the lives of hundreds of women and their families, and in doing so has given immeasurable service to the women of this country.

The CervicalCheck scandal came into the public eye after Vicky Phelan, whose cervical cancer is now terminal, settled a High Court action against a US laboratory for €2.5 million over incorrect smear test results from 2011.

Her story sparked an investigation into how women are told about when their smear tests, which are around 70% accurate, are found to have been inaccurate.

Although she was asked not to go public with her story, she did so anyways in the hope that it could save women’s lives.

As a result of her dedication to helping other people in similar circumstances, an investigation of the shortcomings of the current system is taking place so that in future, Ireland will have the benefit of a service corresponding to the highest international standards.

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