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Thursday 19 September 2019

Cervical cancer advocate vows to fight on despite warning over comments

Lorraine Walsh
Lorraine Walsh

Mícheál Ó Scannáil

A cervical cancer advocate has said that she won't let anyone distract her from her efforts to transform Ireland's "flawed healthcare system".

Lorraine Walsh, a patient representative on the CervicalCheck Steering Committee, said "no matter what office they hold" she will not let anyone distract her from improving the future of healthcare for the women of Ireland.

Ms Walsh wrote an open letter after she clashed with the most senior government health adviser in a series of newly released letters.

Chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan accused Ms Walsh of making a "defamatory and untrue" statement after she allegedly criticised him over the controversy.

In her letter, addressed to the Irish public and posted on Twitter, Ms Walsh said she would not let anyone distract her from her role, which she said is all-consuming.

"This role is challenging and emotionally charged. I am consumed by it, I live and breathe it morning, noon and night," she said.

"Fighting for answers and justice is somehow rewarding too and is helping me to come to terms with now knowing that my life could have been very different.

"I am passionate about it. My loss has driven me and this had become my vocation, but it's not easy.

"So what do you do when things get tough? Well cancer taught me to dig deep.

"When you stare down the barrel of cancer you discover new strengths and resilience which shifts the focus of your life forever.

"I'm not going to let anyone, no matter the office they hold, distract me from my work," she added.

Irish Independent

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