Neither the HSE nor the State has ever apologised to Ruth Morrissey “and now it is too late,“ her husband Paul said in a statement today following her death.
The 39-year-old Limerick woman who died after a cervical cancer battle today “fought fiercely to stay alive for the family she adored,” he said.
"It was 2014 when Ruth found out that she had cervical cancer and 2018 before she learned that there had been grievous mistakes in the screening programme that were to cost her life."
A statement from Mr Morrissey referred to the courage and determination she showed throughout a 36 day High Court marathon case, and how she attended a Supreme Court hearing for one day last December despite being very sick and weak.
"Despite using Ruth as a test case through the final years and months of her life, neither the HSE nor the State has ever apologised to her, and now it is too late."
In recent days, the Supreme Court has been told that Ms Morrissey and her husband Paul had been paid the full amount of €2.16m damages awarded to them by the High Court over misreading of her cervical smear tests.
Ms Morrissey (39) passed away this morning with her husband Paul by her side.
She died in the care of the staff at Milford Hospice where her family said she has received such loving care over the past year or so.
In a statement, her husband Paul added: "Ruth had a sparkle to her smile, her wit and her intelligence. That sparkle made her wonderful company and her friendship was a gift she gave generously to anyone who knew her."
The statement added: "The Morrissey and Moloney families, in their grief, wish to thank all those who have given help, support and medical care to Ruth over these past few difficult years.
"Ruth’s life was a very happy one and none of the hardships of recent years robbed her of her good cheer and positive spirit.
"She fought fiercely to stay alive for the family she adored. The example she set stands as an enduring inspiration of strength and determination that should help many others through difficult times in the future."
Cervical cancer survivor Lorraine Walsh described Ms Morrissey as "a beautiful gentle lady."
Writing on social media, she said: "Your life has been cut short far too soon, you shouldered a great burden for many of us." She extended her sympathies to the family.
Vicky Phelan, said that she was on her own this morning at home when she received the news of Ms Morrissey’s death, a fellow CervicalCheck campaigner and "good friend."
"Ruth was one of the strongest women I know, and also one of the most positive. I never once saw her without a smile on her face and I saw her when she was very ill.
"My thoughts today are with Ruth’s husband, Paul and their beautiful daughter Libby, who Ruth adored."
Stephen Teap, a CervicalCheck campaigner whose wife Irene died of cervical cancer in 2018, also paid his respects to Ms Morrissey.
"Struggling to find the words to display my sadness at hearing this news this morning, #ruthmorrissey was a kind and gentle soul who I was honoured to know,always checking up on me and my boys even in the middle of her own battles, this world is at a loss without her, may she now RIP."
The Dublin Well Woman clinic commended Ms Morrissey for her bravery.
"We are deeply saddened to learn of death at 39 of #RuthMorrissey, and we extend our sympathies to her husband and daughter, and to all who loved her.
"Her courage in speaking on behalf of women impacted by #cervicalcancer was extraordinary."
Taoiseach Micheál Martin also paid tribute to Ms Morrissey.
“I was deeply saddened to learn of Ruth Morrissey’s passing this afternoon. Ruth was a brave, courageous woman who worked tirelessly for others and for future generations of women in this country," he said.
“She was generous of spirit and had the interests of others at heart.
“I wish to extend my sympathies to her husband Paul, her daughter Libby, her family and friends. May she rest in peace."
President Michael D Higgins said joined Martin in paying tribute.
He said: "So many people across Ireland will have learned with great sadness of the passing of Ruth Morrissey.
"Ruth Morrissey’s tremendous courage in an arduous campaign for truth and justice leaves a legacy of courage for all Irish people, and for those campaigning for women’s right to healthcare in particular.
"Sabina and I send our sincere condolences to her husband Paul, their daughter, her family and friends, and to all those who have shared Mrs Morrissey’s journey."
Leader of the Labour Party, Alan Kelly praised Ms Morrissey for facing the Government following the CervicalCheck controversy.
"Rest in peace Ruth Morrissey who took on the state and shouldered a huge burden for the women of Ireland. She fought the state not once but twice," the Tipperary TD said.
"I spoke about her case many times in Dáil Éireann. The state promised no woman would have to go through the courts again. They didn’t honour that."
The Supreme Court has been told that terminally ill Ruth Morrissey and her husband Paul have been paid the full amount of €2.16m damages awarded to them by the High Court over misreading of her cervical smear tests.