As published in Irish Independent – Author Christy Galligan {Donegal North Branch}

What type of society are we when we can condemn mothers like Vicky Phelan to death because State apparatchiks hide the truth from them?

The hierarchy within the HSE is one of those, it’s out of control and using taxpayers’ money to defend hiding the truth from unfortunate victims. There is also Government complicity in some decisions.

I listened to Dr Gibbons, who was in quality assurance for the cervical screening checks within the HSE, say he brought his concerns regarding the inherent dangers imposed by the US-type check being used.

His concerns were not listened to and dismissed.

We now see that out of more than 200 further checks, 17 women within that group have since died. Cause of death as yet unknown, though I can hazard a guess.

Last week we saw Vicky, the mother of two young children, standing on the steps of the High Court after dragging the HSE through a legal quagmire just to get to the truth.

As Vicky stated, there was “an appalling breach of trust”. This seriously understates the gravity of the crime perpetrated against her and her family.

Let’s not forget Brigid McCole and other women who were sentenced to death by a State and system that would rather fight and delay rather than tell the truth.

No amount of money will compensate them or any of those families for the loss of their lives.

I heard one clinician for the HSE repeat the words “education” and “international best practice” several times when interviewed, but would not answer directly the core question: Why the delay?

Whose head should roll for this serious breach of trust?

Who will be held accountable? There is now a need to hold corporations and services like the HSE to account under the law when they are involved in serious breaches and malpractice.

We need to have legislation brought in without delay so those in charge can be investigated and charged with corporate malfeasance or manslaughter.

These faceless people need to be exposed and if they are found to have withheld vital information concerning risks to patients, then they should be investigated and charged and have to face the full rig our soft he law and the courts, similar to what they put their victims through.

This would send a serious message that these breach es of trust will not be entertained where a person’s life is put at risk or worse.

We hear the words equality, good governance and accountability, but all I hear is lies, obfuscation and death.

Christy Galligan Letterkenny, Co Donegal

GSRMA Donegal North