Norah Casey has spoken out about the ongoing Cervical Check scandal, which has led to the death of 18 women.
So far, it’s been reported that a total of 209 women, including the 18 women who have died, have been ‘directly affected’ by the controversy.
The women had been given incorrect smear test results by the national cervical cancer screening programme.
Speaking out about the scandal at the third annual LauraLynn Heroes Ball, Norah told Goss.ie, “It makes me sick to my stomach. Imagine going to a service provider and saying, ‘Could you give us the cheapest possible?’ when it comes to something that’s so important.”
Norah went on to say, “I just had another smear done three weeks ago, my sister just had hers done,” before adding, “Sorry now, it just makes me so cross.”
“They’re saying to call the cervical cancer screening test people, nobody is answering the phone, there’s no ability to even leave a message.
“Every single woman I know has gone out and paid privately, not just to see a GP or a consultant, but also for the smear test, and I have as well. And then I think, why did the government take this on? Why did they want to take on something and do it so badly?
The former Dancing With The Stars contestant continued, “Whatever about me feeling cross, and all the women that I know feeling cross, some of whom had early cervical cancer diagnosis, look at the women who are going to die because of that. Look at the women who will no longer live a life.”
“It just took my breath away, of all of the things, like I’m trying to do something on the Magdalene survivors and you could say that belongs to a previous generation; it’s something that we’re ashamed of, it’s a terrible thing for the country. But my goodness, this belongs to this day and age. This is 2011/2012.”
Norah went on to say that she thinks the people responsible should face manslaughter charges, following the death of 18 women.
“I just can’t get my head around the fact that we allowed this to happen, to me it’s manslaughter charges. There’s somebody there that’s culpable.
“I was a nurse, and I think the people that are the furthest away from patients make decisions because they never have to face a patient. They talk about things in terms of numbers and bureaucracy, not in terms of how this impacts people’s lives.”
“And that’s what I feel about this, you know, I’m not pointing the finger at anybody, it’s very hard to say that person is responsible, but I don’t know why we never learn lessons. Why does this keep happening to us as a country?”
“It was the talking point all day yesterday [at the Planet Woman Academy conference], women were coming in from the US, the UK, and they were saying, ‘What is it about Ireland that this keeps happening?’
“You know, is it something to do with women or their value, is it just that we’re disorganised? It’s a scandal, honestly, I just left the kitchen table talking to my sister about this for the last hour and a half. It’s outrageous,” she added.
Norah was speaking at the third annual LauraLynn Heroes Ball at the InterContinental Hotel in Ballsbridge.
Almost 400 supporters attended the gala, which raised vital funds for Ireland’s Children’s Hospice through ticket sales, an auction, and donations from guests on the night.
LauraLynn, provides a range of services including, symptom management for children; music and play therapy; psychological support; family and sibling camps; short breaks and end of life care. It costs €5 million to keep LauraLynn’s Children’s Hospice open, €4.2 million of which must be generated this year through fundraised income.
Since opening in 2011, LauraLynn has cared for more than 325 children and their families and provided more than 275,000 hours of short stay care provided to children in LauraLynn Hospice.