HEALTH Minister James Reilly is trying to appoint a judge to oversee a redress scheme for survivors of symphysiotomy, the barbaric birth operation which left many women with life-long health problems.
Symphysiotomy was an operation performed on women during childbirth, mostly in the during the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. It permanently widened the pelvis in women who might normally have required repeated caesarean sections, so they were able to continue having children and so would not require any contraception or sterilisation surgery.
The Minister said he asked the Attorney General to approach possible judges, and the process was now under way.
Women can still pursue their cases through the courts if they want to, he added.
"We want to find the right person with the best experience, and that she or he – and I hope it's she – will be able to get further progress made on this," he said.