Tuesday 25 June 2019

'I won't be slagging Fine Gael, I'm giving them a day off' - Emma Mhic Mhathuna reveals she is to try her hand at stand-up comedy

Emma Mhic Mhathúna, one of the women affected by the CervicalCheck controversy, and her daughter Natasha (15) at an open-air talk held in Tralee in support of victims of the cancer scandal. Photo: Domnick Walsh
Emma Mhic Mhathúna, one of the women affected by the CervicalCheck controversy, and her daughter Natasha (15) at an open-air talk held in Tralee in support of victims of the cancer scandal. Photo: Domnick Walsh

David Fleming

Emma Mhic Mhathuna has revealed she is going to pursue her dreams by making her stand-up comedy debut this weekend.

The Kerry woman and her five children sued the HSE and and US laboratory Quest Diagnostics Incorporated over incorrect smear test results and she settled her case last month after being awarded €7.5 million damages by the High Court.

In a wide-ranging interview on Today With Miriam O'Callaghan this morning on RTE Radio One, she discussed the ongoing fallout from the CervicalCheck scandal, house hunting in Dublin and her stand-up comedy debut.

Discussing the plight of Ruth Morrissey, who earlier this week appeared in court as she is suing over the allegedly incorrect reporting of two smear tests carried out in 2014, Emma said that court cases, such as hers and Ms Morrisseys are "designed to break you down, so by the time you get to court you're going to throw in the towel." 

She offered her support to Ms Morrissey, saying that if she was listening "don't you dare throw in that towel," adding that if she had to "go into that court myself and stick up for her I will."

With regards to the Taoiseach, who earlier this week said that he should have been clearer in his remarks when he said that no other women would have to be brought through the courts as a result of the CerviclaCheck scandal, Ms Mhic Mathuna said that she sympathisies with "the position that he's in." 

"Now as you know I'm not about advertising politicians, especially with what's after happening to me so when I say it I mean it. I think what's happened is that the labs are taking advantage of the man's (Varadkar's) statements that I feel came from his heart. 

"He's in a checkmate (situation) because the labs know they have him, it's the labs that are abusing this statement and it's Ruth that is caught up in this."  

Addressing reports that she is to buy a house in Dublin, Emma said: "I'm torn you see I love Kerry" - she did confirm to Miriam that she was going to buy a property in the capital and that she is trying to get an offer accepted. 

Ms Mhic Mathuna also revealed that she is to try her hand at stand-up comedy. 

"I won't be slagging Fine Gael, I'm giving them a day off, so if they want to come to the show they're welcome," Emma said. 

Emma's comedy debut is on this Friday in Dublin's Laughter Lounge she said that she "can't believe" that she managed to get in there. 

"I'm doing it on Friday night, a few people have said I'm funny and I said it's for a good cause. It's for a garden of remembrance for the victims and the families of cervical cancer so we can go and just catch up and somewhere to go and remember their Mams. 

"I'm doing a script at the moment, you know it's going to be really funny because I've brain radiation today, I've brain radiation on Thursday and I've got the show on Friday so I'm going to be funny either way. 

"Life's too short you've just got to keep going.

"If I'm not funny laugh anyway because I've got an ego here to think about."

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It emerged in April that an audit by the Cervical Check screening programme of 1,482 women diagnosed with cervical cancer since 2008 had found potential errors in earlier smear tests in 209 of the cases, with results showing no abnormalities when they should have flagged a cancer warning.

Ms Mhic Mhathuna and her five children, who sued over CervicalCheck smears, in June settled their legal action for €7.5million.

Liability was also admitted in the case by the HSE and US laboratory Quest Diagnostics Incorporated.

Letters of apology from the HSE and Quest were also be sent to Ms Mhic Mhathuna.

The admission of liability by the HSE related to failing to disclose the findings of cervical cancer. Quest Diagnostics admitted misreading her two cervical smear slides in 2010  and 2013.

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