KERRY STANDS WITH EMMA
Outpouring of support for mum-of-five condemned to death after test blunder
TERMINALLY ill mother-of-five Emma Mhic Mhathúna, will fight to the bitter end to bring the Government to account for the suffering and pain they have put the women of Ireland through.
Speaking to The Kerryman following a public protest in Tralee on Monday, the West Kerry mother-of-five said that she “is refusing to die and leave this country in unsafe hands”.
This week Emma was told that her cancer has spread even further to her vertebra. But she has vowed to fight for as long as she can to help reform the health service.
“I promise my death won’t go unnoticed. I will make sure that they pay for what they have done to every single family in Ireland, whether you are on a waiting list too long or whether you are not being treated fair.”
“I can’t save my life but at least I can save yours and your children’s lives,” Emma said.
Emma is to meet President Higgins at her home in Ballydavid on Wednesday.
THE shocking plight of terminally-ill cancer patient Emma Mhic Mhathúna brought hundreds of women and men together in solidarity with the brave West Kerry woman on Monday evening.
In a poignant protest in Tralee town centre on Monday evening, the very day that she was told that her cancer has spread even further to her vertebra, Emma, in a moving and emotional speech, said that she would continue to fight for reform of the health service.
“I am sick of being treated like nothing. Our health is the last thing that these people care about. The Dáil needs to realise that if they are going to take responsibility for our lives they better do it well or they need to be fired,” she told the crowd.
“I promise my death won’t go unnoticed. I will make sure that they pay for what they have done to every single family in Ireland, whether you are on a waiting list too long or whether you are not being treated fair. Tell them you’re my friend and I’ll come and sort them out.”
“I can’t save my life but at least I can save yours and your children’s lives”
The mother-of-five, who lives in Baile na nGall (Ballydavid), is one of the victims of the Cervicalcheck scandal which has rocked the health service. She is one of the 209 women who was misdiagnosed after their smear tests results were misread.
Emma said that she was ‘touched’ that people had organised the vigil which was led by Cllr Toireasa Ferris to show support and solidarity for Emma and all the women of Ireland who have been affected.
“It is unfortunate that someone has to die to bring people together. It is amazing that they trust me to be their voice and bring forward reform. We [women] kick ass when we are together.”
Up to 400 people – women and dozens of men too – attended the solidarity vigil, which included five minutes of silence for all the victims and, afterwards, many of them hugged Emma and thanked her for her bravery.
Emma said that while she had no idea how much longer she has left, she will fight for as long as she can.
“While I still have strength I will keep fighting for the cause. I refuse to die and leave this country in unsafe hands.”
A solidarity vigil also took place in West Kerry on Tuesday evening in Ballydavid to show support from the local community where Emma now resides.
Emma is also due to meet President Michael D Higgins on Wednesday in private meeting to discuss the cervical cancer scandal.
She said that his visit will “bring comfort to her children that Mom matters and that she is not just a statistic”.
“I am so touched that he is coming to meet me to see what I am trying to achieve,” she continued.
Another protest will also take place outside University Hospital Kerry on Friday afternoon to voice women’s outrage at the scandal.
Emma was speaking to The Kerryman on Monday and said she now needs to concentrate on future plans for her wonderful children. “I’m being pulled apart from my children when they need me and I want to try and keep things normal as much as possible for them.”
I CAN’T SAVE MY LIFE BUT AT LEAST I CAN SAVE YOURS AND YOUR CHILDREN’S LIVES.
Emma Mhic Mhathúna (inset), a victim of the CervicalCheck scandal, pictured in Tralee Town Square where over 400 supporters stood in silence as she spoke. The protest was organised by Cllr Toireasa Ferris.