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Tuesday 22 January 2019

Hundreds at protest over CervicalCheck in minister's hometown

Kellie MaConnell at the CervicalCheck protest in Greystones
Kellie MaConnell at the CervicalCheck protest in Greystones
Laura Lynott

Laura Lynott

Around 300 people turned out to a CervicalCheck protest in Simon Harris's hometown to "deliver a message to the Government".

The crowd, made up mainly of women, also included men and children, as families showed their anger at the scandal.

The protest, in the Health Minister's hometown of Greystones, Co Wicklow, saw marchers carrying banners, with residents cheering as they passed by.

"I came out today because the people of Ireland deserve better," said Kellie MaConnell.

"The Government needs to show accountability and right now I don't agree those leading our country should remain in place. My mother had a health scare recently but she is thankfully fine.

"She lives in Northern Ireland, so she's under a different system, and I worry over cervical screening in the Republic now as a result. The HSE covered things up and should have been honest and told people what they needed to know."

Linda McCann (37) turned out to the protest with her daughter Ciara (6) and said it was important she was there "for myself and for my daughter's future". "I'm angry, like most women across Ireland, that this has happened, there are women dying because of this scandal.

"We are here today to support those women and deliver a message to Government that all women are angry and we aren't going away. We need positive change and to be showed there is actual change and for this never, ever to happen again."

James Leonard (36) said it was "vital" men played their part in the outcry against the scandal because every man has sisters, mothers and wives.

"I had to show my support for women. This wasn't right. There was a cover-up by the HSE and I think there has been no reassurance from the Government for women. I can't remember a scandal like this in my lifetime. And it's not OK," he said.

Irish Independent

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