The University of Limerick has conferred Vicky Phelan with an Honorary Doctorate for what it said was her "exceptional commitment to improving women's healthcare in Ireland".

Ms Phelan, who has terminal cancer, was awarded €2.5m earlier this year after she received an incorrect smear test result.

The case led to the CervicalCheck controversy, which saw the resignation of a number of health officials, including HSE Director General Tony O’Brien.

The Government has also established an independent inquiry into the matter.

The university said Ms Phelan had transformed the lives of others through her life.

Following today’s ceremony, Ms Phelan said it was a huge honour for her, and she wanted to use her voice to advocate for women to get access to the same drugs that she was now getting to treat her cancer.

She said if she had not got those drugs, which are not licensed for the treatment of cervical cancer, she would not be alive today.

She said she had to use her voice to push for access for those women, many of whom were young women with families.

Ms Phelan said she received the drugs through her own dogged research and determination.

She said every cancer care centre in the country should have a dedicated research expert available to terminally ill patients to help research clinical trials and give them hope.

Ms Phelan is a former student and employee of University of Limerick.

She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in European Studies, in 1997 and was the first person to register as a research student at the university’s Centre for Applied Language Studies.

Ms Phelan later taught at UL and worked as a translator for the European Commission.