Health Minister James Reilly’s words on the scandal of symphysiotomy are contradicted by his actions, according to Sinn Féin Health spokesperson Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD. He was commenting after Minister Reilly replied in the Dáil to Deputy Ó Caoláin’s question on symphysiotomy today (Thursday).
Deputy Ó Caoláin said:
“Minister Reilly has claimed that the women who were maimed by the barbaric practice of symphysiotomy are free to pursue their cases in the courts. Minister Reilly well knows that the Statute of Limitations prevents a significant number of the women from pursuing cases, yet he and his colleagues in Government have refused to progress the Statute of Limitations (Amendment) Bill 2013 in my name that was passed unanimously through Second Stage by the Dáil last April.
“Minister Reilly’s actions contradict his words. Legal firms representing 167 of the women wrote to the Minister last March and offered to engage ‘without prejudice’ in talks towards a negotiated settlement but he refused. He now wishes to further prolong the search for truth, justice and closure by appointing a judge to explore the matter further. He is the Minister, why will he not address it directly himself and now?
“How many more of these ageing and infirm women will have passed away before this injustice is properly addressed?
“The Government should schedule the Statute of Limitations (Amendment) Bill Committee Stage right away and progress the legislation without further delay.”