More than 1500 cervical cancer cases were not audited

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Following news released at a HSE briefing on Monday that confirmed 162 of the women who'd been affected had not yet been told their fate, the Irish Cancer Society then shared the news that they'd requested an urgent meeting with the Minister for Health Simon Harris to seek clarity on a number of items surrounding the scandal.

Patrick Lynch from the HSE says a number of the 208 women could have benefited from earlier intervention.

The society completed their statement by thanking Vicky Phelan for the role she played in unravelling the major health scandal. The cause of their deaths is not known.

This comes less than one week after Annacotty mother-of-two Vicky Phelan was awarded a €2.5m settlement in a High Court case against the HSE and a United States laboratory.

Ms Phelan, who was awarded €2.5 million in a settlement against a USA lab last week over a false negative smear test in 2011, has said she was very upset at the revelation that that there had been 17 deaths.

The Health Service Executive (HSE) tonight confirmed 3,000 women have been diagnosed with cervical cancer over the 10-year period since 2008, and 1,482 of these cases were notified to CervicalCheck and included in this audit.

"This is a massive patient safety issue, look what has been uncovered because of it".

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The HSE has issued a statement in relation to Kildare women in the CervicalCheck programme.

"And by God I'm going to take these guys on".

Mr Harris said he is now moving towards establishing a commission of investigation to uncover the extent of this controversy. The women in the 208 cases should have been referred for full diagnostic testing.

Fianna Fail TD for Limerick City, Willie O'Dea, says the Government must not delay in the establishment of the independent inquiry into the Cervical Check controversy.

"But in all the debate that is ongoing it is important that we do not lose sight of the fact that the cancer screening programme has saved the lives of many, many women". "But her courage and tenacity has done a great service to the women of Ireland and her actions will ultimately lead to improvements for all", he said.

Vicky Phelan's lawyer, Cian O'Carroll, called the conduct throughout the process appalling and said, "it is particularly disgusting when you learn of the number of people that have died".