Monday 21 October 2019

In her own words: Emotion, humour and searing honesty

Emma Mhic Mhathúna on stage in the Laughter Lounge in Dublin. Photo: Kyran O’Brien
Emma Mhic Mhathúna on stage in the Laughter Lounge in Dublin. Photo: Kyran O’Brien

Emma Mhic Mhathúna was never afraid to speak her mind and take on those in power over the injustice she suffered.

Those that knew her were all too aware of her extraordinary way with words and her ability to speak from the heart.

Following her High Court victory, she told reporters: "From the outset, I was determined to fight for justice for my children and the figure replicates the damage that's been done to them...

"I'm a very strong character. I could have easily gone 10 rounds with the HSE and Quest but they realised what they were up against."

But speaking about the €7.5m award to RTÉ presenter Miriam O'Callaghan, she later acknowledged: "The €7.5m doesn't make any difference, I went in there taking no nonsense, I just wanted my children taken care of."

One of her most high-profile appearances came on 'The Late Late Show' where she told Ryan Tubridy: "Talk is cheap. When you're back is to the wall you'll say anything. I'm glad they're listening to me, it's unfortunate that it's taken my life for them to listen to me. I want the HSE to be dismantled and reassembled in the best possible way to cover everybody and for the people who want to work in the health service to manage it."

She even turned her hand to stand-up comedy, fulfilling a lifelong ambition with a gig at Dublin's Laughter Lounge.

"I discovered that labs actually stands for 'Let's All Butcher Someone', but I'll tell you something - they've messed with the wrong woman, didn't they?" she said to laughter.

She was also happy to poke fun at herself, recalling the time RTÉ visited her Kerry home: "They wanted me to do a piece walking down the road and leaning against the farm gate as if I'm trying to contemplate what's going to happen to me. But the gate wasn't locked, and they recorded me falling down on top of cow s**te."

She will be remembered for the sheer emotion and bravery she channelled whenever she spoke of her children. "There are times when I just break down and I can do it now because my kids aren't around but when I'm around them I just have to stay really happy."

Irish Independent

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