The husband of a woman who died from cervical cancer four years after she was told her smear test was normal has settled a High Court action against the Health Service Executive.

Elaine Flannery, from Blarney in Co Cork, died in October 2014 from metastatic cervical cancer, aged 59.

She had a smear test under the national cervical check screening programme in November 2010, which was reported as having no abnormality detected.

Two years later, she was diagnosed with invasive cervical cancer.

Today's settlement in the sum of €675,000 was made without admission of liability after mediation.

Senior Counsel Patrick Treacy said it was a source of enormous distress to the family that they did not receive an apology.

Mr Treacy said their case was based on a number of expert reports, which said the smear slide taken in 2010 showed "very obvious high grade lesions", which were indicative of an already established cancer.

The slide was also reviewed by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, which reported that had the cancer been detected and a referral for treatment made her condition could have been prevented.

Mr Treacy said the HSE had referred to its own expert review, which reported the slide as negative and while he accepted that report was "written in good faith", the case was settled without admission of liability and therefore no apology was made.

Ms Flannery's husband David, and her five adult children, including the singer/songwriter Mick Flannery and two grandchildren, were in court for the settlement.

Mr Justice Coffey also approved the statutory sum in cases of wrongful death of €35,000 to be divided among the family.

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The judge said Ms Flannery's death was "tragic and sad" and he had no doubt about the effect it had on her husband and children.

In a High Court action it was alleged there was a failure to correctly report and diagnose her smear sample taken in 2010 and her cancer was allowed to develop and spread untreated for two years.

It was further alleged that had her illness been detected in 2010 she would have been successfully treated with surgery and chemotherapy.

Ms Flannery's family said tomorrow marks the eighth anniversary of her death.

Outside court, Eamonn Flannery read a statement on behalf of his father David, which said today's proceedings marked the end of a mediation process where there was a measure of financial compensation but "not one word of an apology".

He said the apology they sought was "a no-strings attached" one.

"Just a simple form of sorry for our enormous loss and for the heartbreaking pain caused would have sufficed," he said.

"For me personally, this unwillingness of the defendants to offer not one word of regret by way of sympathy beggars belief in its want of common decency. It angers me, as it does our children and Elaine's mother and siblings."

He added that the current practice of not offering an apology where one is clearly needed was "brutally inhuman in its scant regard for what is right and its ignorance of human psychology".