The State Claims Agency has confirmed to RTÉ News that it is to appeal a High Court judgment involving Ruth Morrissey, a terminally ill Limerick woman with cervical cancer.

A spokesman said the agency was acting on behalf of the HSE and its appeal was focused on "a number of important legal points that may have significant implications for the State".

The spokesman confirmed the news after the story was first reported in The Sunday Business Post.

He clarified that its appeal did not relate to the High Court decision to award €2.1 million in damages to Mrs Morrissey and her husband Paul.

In the case last month, Mr Justice Kevin Cross granted a stay on his final judgment, providing €700,000 was paid immediately to Ruth Morrissey.

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On RTÉ's The Week In Politics, the Minister for Health Simon Harris said he would seek to protect the total award.

He stated: "What I would like to see happen is to try and find a mechanism to protect Ms Morrissey's interest from any appeal.

"She has been vindicated in the High Court in relation to her own case, and no-one should try to take that from her."

Mr Harris said the State's Claims Agency decision to appeal was its alone and not made by any politician.

In the case, Mrs Morrissey and her husband Paul successfully sued the Health Service Executive and two laboratories - Quest Diagnostics and MedLab Pathology Limited.

Mrs Morrissey was diagnosed with cervical cancer in 2014 and the High Court case related to cervical smears taken under the CervicalCheck Screening programme in 2009 and 2012.

The court heard she was not told until May last year that a 2014 review showed two smears taken under the CervicalCheck screening programme were reported incorrectly.

After the victory, she said: "I hope that's a positive thing, so the women who are left, they don't need to do this and fight for their right to have a good life of what they've left.

"I'd encourage every woman to continue on getting their smears (test) even though it failed me, but it does save many, many lives ... this is not a cancer that you want."

She added: "I just want to move on and spent what quality time I have left with my daughter."

She was diagnosed with a recurrence of her cancer in February last year and given a prognosis of 12 to 24 months.

Mrs Morrissey told the court she did not think she would ever have been told about the review of smear tests if it had not been for the case of Vicky Phelan, who settled her case against a US laboratory a year ago.