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Women fitted with faulty breast implants take another step towards justice

WOMEN who were fitted with faulty silicone breast implants have said they are another step closer to justice after meeting health chiefs.

More than 1,500 patients in Ireland were given defective implants created by French firm Poly Implant Prothese (PIP) over the last 10 years.

Members of the newly formed PIP Action Group revealed they had a positive meeting with Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan, who has vowed to make the three clinics who used the industrial-grade gel to take financial responsibility for its removal.

Mother-of-three Jean Noctor, from Wicklow, said: "We feel like we've stepped forward a bit.

"We are still in conversation with Dr Holohan and he is still in conversation with the clinics as to where the burden is going to lie."

The 31-year-old, who had her breast implants fitted in 2007 through The Harley Medical Group, described the last few months as a waiting game.

"I know everything is being tested and data is being collected, but I'm worried that in a couple of years down the line that something will come back that is really seriously damaging to our health," she added.

"My main priority is that I am well for my children."

Of the 1,550 women in Ireland believed to have had them implanted over the last 10 years, 138 have experienced a rupture - 35 of whom had ruptures in both breasts.

The implants - fitted in Clane Hospital in Co Kildare, Shandon Street Hospital in Co Cork and the Harley Medical Group - were found to have contained industrial-grade silicone, which is used to stuff mattresses, and in many cases ruptured.

While studies have since found that the industrial-grade silicone poses no health risks, the women have been advised to have the objects removed.

More than 200 of those affected will attend a ticket only PIP information day tomorrow, where psychologists, therapists, TDs, solicitors, a cosmetic surgeon and a patient advocacy group will give talks.

The French firm that made the implants has since gone out of business. It is now being investigated for fraud.