Neary group appeals for scheme inclusion

Tuesday 25 January 2011 19.45
Michael Neary - Group appeals for inclusion in scheme
Michael Neary - Group appeals for inclusion in scheme

The group which represents women who were damaged by the former surgeon, Michael Neary, have issued an appeal to the outgoing Government to extend the redress scheme to include them.

Patient Focus today said 35 women were excluded from the original redress scheme because the procedures done to them were not on the list or because they were over the age of 40.

Sheila O'Connor from the group said former Minister for Health Mary Harney was aware of this group of women for many years and had said they would be looked after but that hadn't happened.

She said all the women were profoundly damaged by Neary and there were strong medical reports to back each of their cases.

Two of the women had since died since this campaign started. It would not open the 'flood gates' to more cases, according to Ms O'Connor, as there were just 35 women involved.

It is estimated that the cost of extending scheme would be around €3m but the primary aim was to acknowledge the wrong that was done to them, she said.

Former Minister Harney had said that the original scheme had cost a total of just over €20m and it was on the advice of the judge who was involved in it, Judge Maureen Harding Clarke, that she decided not to extend the scheme to include these women.

Today a cross party group of politicians including Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael, the Labour Party and Sinn Féin attended a press conference organised by Patient Focus.

Those in opposition pledged they would extend the scheme to include the women within a year if they are returned to Government.