Emma Mhic Mhathúna: Tributes paid to victim of CervicalCheck disaster one year on from her death
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Emma Mhic Mhathúna: Tributes paid to victim of CervicalCheck disaster one year on from her death

Tributes are being paid to the late Emma Mhic Mhathúna, a 37-year-old mother-of-five who died of preventable cervical cancer one year ago today.

Ms Mhic Mhathúna was one of at least 221 women who received the incorrect results of their smear tests during the CervicalCheck controversy.

In 2010, and again in 2013, she was incorrectly told her smear test results were clear.

By the time her cervical cancer was diagnosed, Ms Mhic Mhathúna was terminally ill.

She joined other prominent voices affected by the scandal, such as Limerick woman Vicky Phelan, in ensuring somebody was held accountable for the disastrous consequences of the CervicalCheck scandal, but for many the fight for justice continues.

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The late Emma Mhic Mhathúna (Image: RollingNews.ie)

Emma Mhic Mhathúna died one year ago today, leaving behind her devastated husband and five children.

Flags were lowered to half-mast on Government buildings on the day of Ms Mhic Mhathúna's funeral, and the hearse carrying her coffin stopped outside Leinster House and the Department of Health in a striking reminder of the devastating consequences of repeated human error.

Messages of support have been pouring in today from people mourning her loss and speaking of their privilege to have met her.

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A statement has been released on behalf of Ms Mhic Mathúna's family has asked people to "remember her fondly".

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The statement in full reads:

"A year ago today - 7th October 2018 - as a family we had to sadly say goodbye to our beloved Emma RIP.

"With her death a bright light in our lives was extinguished and her beautiful and brave voice silenced.

"Her pain and suffering was thankfully at an end as she was re-united with her mam.

"Five wonderful children tragically lost their mam at such a tender age in circumstances that are too difficult to contemplate not to mention understand.

People wait outside the cathedral at Ms Mhathúna's funeral (Image: Sam Boal / RollingNews.ie)
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"As her family there are no words that can truly express the depth of our gratitude for what you have done for us over the last year.

"The words 'thank you' seem so inadequate but we hope that you will appreciate that your support, whether from family, friends, neighbours and the wider public, meant so much to us all particularly when we needed it most.

"Be proud of the fact you contributed to ensuring that Emma's extraordinary life and death were celebrated in such a special way and that hopefully something positive will come from her journey and her passing."

The cortege passes Government Buildings (Image: Sam Boal / RollingNews.ie)

"We are a private family and hope you will appreciate that notwithstanding our grief and pain over the loss of our beautiful Emma we will be refraining from further comment.

"Emma would have wanted us, her family, to thank you the media again for the portrayal of her story and for all the friendship and support showed to her on her journey through illness.

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"Finally but most particularly we would ask that you keep Emma RIP in your hearts and minds today, to remember her fondly and her children as they re-build their lives without their beloved mam.

"Emma was a strong and courageous lady and will be remembered as such."