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Fitness & Health

28th May 2018

If you see people wearing red outside the Dáil on Wednesday, here’s the reason why

Michael Lanigan

The demonstrations will take place in 22 locations at 5pm on Wednesday.

A series of demonstrations in support of those affected by the Cervical Check scandal will be taking place outside the Dáil and various locations nationwide on Wednesday, 30 May, with attendants being asked to wear red in solidarity.

The demonstrations are being run by Standing4Women – a national movement that campaigns for women’s issues – and they are calling on the public to show support for the victims and their families, while also demanding immediate action from the government and the HSE.

In a statement, Standing4Women said they have two policy requirements, which the demonstration aims to call attention to.

They are “asking for relevant policy for the upcoming Bill on Mandatory Disclosure to be implemented in conjunction with an agreed timeline” and seeking “active and independent support for those affected by the scandal, including and not limited to, an immediate point of contact for those affected, and a multidisciplinary support team”.

Commenting on the campaign, Standing4Women spokesperson Clare O’Connor said: “Families are not receiving adequate support or access to information and we want mandatory disclosure reintroduced immediately to restore faith in the healthcare system.

“The people of Ireland have shown that they will not accept substandard healthcare for women any longer. We are compassionate, we are organised and we will not accept media spin being prioritised over women’s healthcare.”

The group’s founder, Anne Corkery added: “In light of the cervical check scandal, I started this group to say that after decades of mistreatment of women in this country that we will not be lied to anymore, that we are strong and we are able to demand better.

“We want to stand together, to ask for improvements in healthcare and we will not give up until those requests are granted. In a very short space of time, this group has grown hugely and this reflects the feelings that are out there on this issue and the need for change that people feel so strongly about at present.”

Rosie Condra, one of the women impacted by the Cervical Check failures, also commented on the demonstrations and their intentions, saying: “I feel deeply let down by the Irish Health Service.

“I feel not only have I been mistreated and ignored but also my pain and hurt is being trivialised as though I truly were just a number. 209 women each and every one has a name, has a family and have a life.

“We need disclosure, support and most of all to be listened to. I am calling on the Minister for Health and involved bodies to stop talking about me and talk to me instead.”

The demonstrations are due to take place at 5pm outside Dáil Éireann in Dublin and also in Laois, Limerick, Midleton, Youghal, Kildare, Wicklow, Waterford, Castletownbere, Leitrim, Drogheda, Mayo, Edenderry, Macroom, Galway, Portarlington, Birr, Tullamore, Cork City, Kilkenny and Kerry.

For more information, visit Standing4Women’s Facebook and Twitter pages.

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