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20th Jul 2020

Tributes paid to CervicalCheck campaigner Ruth Morrissey

Jade Hayden

“One of the strongest women I know.”

Tributes have been paid to CervicalCheck campaigner Ruth Morrissey, who passed away yesterday.

Morrissey, aged 39, passed away at Milford Hospice on Sunday, two years after after giving evidence against the HSE and two laboratories over the misreading of her cervical screening tests.

Ruth was one of the 221+ women who were given incorrect results regarding their cervical smear tests. Multiple women have died following the scandal.

“Ruth was one of the strongest women I know, and also one of the most positive,” said fellow campaigner Vicky Phelan.

“I never once saw her without a smile on her face and I saw her when she was very ill. My thoughts today are with Ruth’s husband, Paul and their beautiful daughter, Libby who Ruth adored.”

Cancer survivor Lorraine Walsh added: “Rest in Peace Ruth Morrissey; a beautiful, gentle lady, your life has been cut short far too soon, you shouldered a great burden for many of us,” while campaigner Stephen Teap said he was “strugglin[g] to find the words to display my sadness at hearing this news.”

Teap added that Ruth was “a kind and gentle soul who I was honoured to know, always checking up on me and my boys even in the middle of her own battles. This world is at a loss without her.”

A statement issued on behalf of Ruth’s husband Paul by solicitor Cian O’Carroll said that she “achieved so much in her life and chief among those accomplishments is the love she and Paul shared and the wonderful daughter they brought into this world and raised with love.”

“Ruth had a sparkle to her smile, her wit and her intelligence,” the statement read.

“That sparkle made her wonderful company and her friendship was a gift she gave generously to anyone who knew her.”

The statement addressed Ruth’s “courage and determination” in her case against the HSE and two laboratories, and said “now it is too late” for apologies.

It read: “Despite the magnitude of the harm caused to her by avoidable errors, despite the broken promise of a Taoiseach who said no other woman would have to go to trial, despite using Ruth as a test case through the final years and months of her life, neither the HSE nor the State has ever apologised to her, and now it is too late.”