'Barbaric birth' victim urges fair settlement
A WOMAN who underwent a barbaric birth operation more than half a century ago has pleaded with the Department of Health to reach a "fair and just settlement" before more victims die.
Matilda Behan (83), from Ringsend, Dublin, is among around 200 surviving women who endured life-long pain and other serious medical problems as a result of undergoing a symphisiotomy.
Matilda, a founding member of the group Survivors of Symphysiotomy (SOS), said around 30 women had died since she began her campaign 13 years ago. SOS spokeswoman Marie O'Connors said members wanted to negotiate a "fair and just settlement with the State".
She said they were repeating the previous proposal of settlements ranging from €250,000 to €450,000.
Pauline Farrell (82), from Sutton, was a prize-winning gymnast when she was subjected to a symphisiotomy in 1956 in the Coombe hospital.
She recalled how she was told she would be "put to sleep for a while" and woke up to find her pelvis cut open.