Flags at Government Buildings to be flown at half mast today for funeral of Emma Mhic Mhathúna
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Flags at Government Buildings to be flown at half mast today for funeral of Emma Mhic Mhathúna

FLAGS are to be flown at half mast at Government Buildings today as a tribute to the late Emma Mhic Mhathuna, victim of the CervicalCheck controversy.

The 37-year-old passed away on Sunday at University Hospital Tralee.

She was one of 221 women with cervical cancer who were given incorrect smear results.

She was diagnosed with cervical cancer in 2016 after previously receiving two clear smear tests in 2010 and 2013.

US laboratory Quest Diagnostic admitted to misreading the cervical smear slides in 2010 and 2013.

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In May this year, Ms Mhic Mhathúna settled her case against Quest and the HSE for €7.5million, however just weeks earlier she had been told that her cancer was terminal.

The errors were discovered following an audit of past results from CervicalCheck, the HSE’s smear test service.

Ms Mhic Mhathuna is the 21st woman to have died in the wake of the controversy.

She will be laid to rest in Co Kildare this afternoon, following mass at St Mary's Pro Cathedral in Dublin, which will begin at 12.45pm.

Her funeral will pass by Leinster House, Government Buildings, and the Department of Health, her family has confirmed.

At her funeral mass in Co Kerry yesterday, her family thanked the people of Ireland for taking Emma to their hearts.

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Speaking afterwards, her uncle, John Moran, described his niece as a fantastic mother and friend.

He said the family loved her and would miss her, but their job now was to ensure that her five children would grow into the lovely young adults that she would have wished for.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has requested that the flag over Government Buildings be lowered to half-mast as a mark of respect to her and all the women and their families who have been affected by the CervcialCheck controversy.

Tributes have been pouring in for Ms Mhic Mhathuna since her passing.

“I was greatly saddened to hear that Emma Mhic Mhathúna has died,” said President Michael D. Higgins.

“When I met her and her children in May, I was greatly struck by her poise and bravery, in the midst of what was a very difficult time for her, her family and friends.

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“On behalf of the people of Ireland, I send my condolences to her family, friends, the wider community in West Kerry, and to all those who have shared Ms Mhic Mhathúna’s journey as she battled the disease.”