The Louth TD said:
“Olivia’s decision to seek damages against the Medical Missionaries of Mary for the appalling damage inflicted on her by the use of symphysiotomy was vindicated by today’s Supreme Court judgement. The ruling that the use of this procedure was ‘unjustified and unwarranted’ was a victory for Olivia and will bring hope to other victims of this abusive procedure.”
Teachta Adams said:
“Symphysiotomy was the institutional abuse of patients. It was a barbaric practice against pregnant women which resulted in horrific injuries and in many cases the death of the child.
Symphysiotomy was brought to my attention by two very brave women, Olivia Kearney and Catherine Naughton, both of whom explained to me what symphysiotomy is and of the terrible health consequences and the physical and emotional scars it left on them.
They, and the 150 or so remaining survivors of this butchery, deserve justice.”
The Sinn Féin Louth TD added:
“Given the increasing age of the victims – two more of whom died in the last month - and the chronic pain and constant medical intervention they require as a result of symphysiotomy there is an onus on the Minister for Health and the government to move to resolve this issue to the satisfaction of the victims.
Sinn Féin supports the demand by many of the victims that the government move to accept the call of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Justice to set aside the statute of limitations for one year to allow victims to take their cases to the courts. Such a decision does not exclude the creation of a redress scheme for those who do not wish to take the route of court action.”
Note to Editors:
Symphysiotomy was a barbaric practice inflicted on hundreds of Irish women from the 1940s until the 1980s. Some 150 to 200 of these women survive and are campaigning for justice and truth.
There needs to be a proper inquiry as well as a redress scheme including medical benefits for the survivors. The demands of the women have cross-party support and TDs and senators from across the Oireachtas have joined together in a support group.