Wednesday 19 December 2018

CervicalCheck campaigner Emma Mhic Mhathuna's funeral will pass by Leinster House and Government Buildings

The 37-year-old died on Sunday from cervical cancer.

File photo dated 30/05/18 of Emma Mhic Mhathuna, who was incorrectly told her smear test results were normal until she was diagnosed with cervical cancer in 2016. PA/Brian Lawless
File photo dated 30/05/18 of Emma Mhic Mhathuna, who was incorrectly told her smear test results were normal until she was diagnosed with cervical cancer in 2016. PA/Brian Lawless

By Rebecca Black, Press Association

The remains of CervicalCheck campaigner Emma Mhic Mhathuna will pass by Leinster House and Government Buildings to "hold a mirror up to the organisations and agencies that they preside over politically and practically," her family has said.

The 37-year-old mother-of-five passed away on Sunday morning from cervical cancer, she was diagnosed in 2016 after receiving two incorrect smear test results.

She was one of 221 women with cervical cancer found to have received incorrect results during a clinical audit of past test results by the CervicalCheck screening programme.

Her family said in a statement this evening that before she passed away she requested that her remains should pass by Leinster House at Kildare Street, Government Buildings on Merrion Street and Department of Health on Baggot Street.

They explained: "The purpose of this route is not to protest. It is a final and departing effort to encourage those within to hold a mirror up to the organisations and agencies that they preside over politically and practically.

"Moreover, it is a request to those organisations and agencies to commit to ensure that Emma's tragic situation will never happen to another Irish mother or Irish woman again.

"Whilst Emma was at odds with institutions and the agencies her decision to pass by them should not be interpreted as a personal criticism of any one individual but rather the institutions within."

They continued to say that "the final part of Emma's journey will be to Aras an Uchtrain as a mark of her personal appreciation to President Michael D Higgins."

The first of two funeral services was held for Mhic Mhathuna this morning.

A funeral mass was celebrated for the mother-of-five at Seipeal na Carraige, Baile na nGall.

It was said in Irish as she had requested.

A second funeral will take place on Wednesday at St Mary’s Pro-Cathedral in Dublin before burial in Maynooth, Co Kildare.

Her family said: "If people wish to pay they respects to Emma we hope that they do so as a mark of recognition of the unquestionable and valuable contribution that she has undoubtedly made to the future health of the women of Ireland for generations to come."

Priest Eoghan O Cadhla described Ms Mhic Mhathuna as “a star that inspires us”.

Ms Mhic Mhathuna participated in a ceremonial part of Pope Francis’ mass in Dublin this summer with her children, Natasha, Seamus, Mario, Oisin, and Donnacha.

The family settled a legal action against health chiefs for 7.5 million euros.

Irish President Michael D Higgins and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar were among those who paid tribute to to Ms Mhic Mhathuna.

Cork City Council has opened a book of condolence for Ms Mhic Mhathuna.

Press Association

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