One of the laboratories in Ireland used by CervicalCheck was allowed to have some cervical smear tests performed in Britain, RTÉ News has confirmed.

The Health Service Executive said today that when there is excessive demand on the lab in Ireland, MedLab Pathology in Sandyford in Dublin can use their lab in the UK.

The HSE said all of the laboratories are under the same quality assurance system.

Yesterday Minister for Health Simon Harris said he would like to use Irish labs to screen smear tests but he has to be sure they have the capacity to test samples.

Mr Harris said he was listening to the concerns of the women of Ireland in this regard. 

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Meanwhile, Labour leader Brendan Howlin has accused the Government of playing "catch up" regarding the CervicalCheck controversy. 

He said more accountability is needed which means whoever devised and supported a strategy of concealment has to be held to account.

Mr Howlin said that information needs to come out in the coming days and weeks and he hopes it will not take months or years to happen as the women want those answers and they want them now.

He described the HSE memo as "brutal in its strategy" to hide information from people who needed it. 

He said the women affected by the controversy have been "traumatised."