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03rd Feb 2022

Vicky Phelan “deeply honoured” to be presented with the Freedom of Limerick

Hugh Carr

vicky phelan freedom of limerick

Well deserved.

Cervical cancer campaigner Vicky Phelan is set to be presented with the Freedom of Limerick City in a ceremony on Thursday evening (3 February).

The Freedom of Limerick is the highest honour that can be bestowed upon a person by the council and is reserved for those who have “made exceptional or unique contributions to the common good” or to people “who have made outstanding contributions to the life of Limerick”.

The decision to present Phelan with the honour was announced in December 2021.

Previous recipients of the Freedom of Limerick include President Michael D. Higgins, broadcaster Terry Wogan, and Pope John Paul II.

Phelan will be the fifth woman to receive the honour since the award was first introduced in 1877.

Phelan described how she felt “deeply honoured” to receive the recognition on Newstalk Breakfast on Thursday (3 February).

“So I’m only the fifth woman in Limerick to have this award bestowed upon them and the women that have gone before me have been fairly serious contenders,” she said.

The four previous women are Trudy Hunt, Kathleen Clarke, Maud Gonne, and Ishbel Maria Hamilton-Gordon.

“So it’s great to be another woman to add to that list – and please God there’ll be more than that”.

Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, meanwhile, Phelan paid tribute to her medical team, saying: “I had a lot of adjustments with my medications over the last number of weeks”

“I’ve a great palliative team and a great oncology team, and they both talk to each other frequently so they know what everyone is doing.”

Phelan is being recognised for her part in bringing details of the cervical cancer scandal to light.

The HSE released figures on 27 April 2018 stating that in 206 cervical cancer cases, the delay in the cancer being detected following smear tests suggested that these women missed out on earlier intervention.

Phelan had a false negative smear test result in 2011 but developed symptoms in 2014 and was diagnosed with cancer.

She was awarded €2.5 million in the High Court due to her misdiagnosis.

The Freedom of Limerick ceremony for Vicky Phelan will be streamed live on at 6.30pm this evening.

More details can be found here.

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