Symphysiotomy survivors appeal to have statute of limitations waived over their procedures

Tuesday 09 April 2013 21.53
Up to 200 women who are now aged in their 70s and 80s had the procedure
Up to 200 women who are now aged in their 70s and 80s had the procedure

Survivors of symphysiotomy procedures are seeking to have the statute of limitations waived in their cases to seek redress. 

Minister for Justice Alan Shatter has said he expects the plight of survivors of symphysiotomy to be addressed by the Minister for Health.

He said the women had gone through a brutal event in their lives and that it should not have happened.

Survivors appealed today to Oireachtas members to support a Bill to allow them take legal action.

Symphysiotomy was a procedure carried out on mothers before or after labour.

The surgery increased the size of the pelvic area to allow easier delivery of a baby.

Around 200 women, who are now in their 70s and 80s, had the procedure.

As a result of the procedure, victims have suffered from incontinence, prolapsed organs, walking difficulties and chronic aches. 

The bill will be taken in the Dáil next week.

It is in the name of Sinn Féin's Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin, who is convener of a 34-member cross party Oireachtas group to support survivors.

The Department of Health has told RTÉ News that a report it commissioned on the use of symphysiotomy in Ireland is nearing completion.

It said it will be submitted to Minister James Reilly in May.

The department said the minister's priority is to ensure women who underwent the procedure now have their health needs comprehensively met through HSE services.