At the annual Labour Party Conference, Labour Party Health spokesperson and Vice Chair of the Public Accounts Committee, Alan Kelly TD, presented Vicky Phelan, Stephen Teap and Lorraine Walsh with Labour Women’s Jo Cox award for Bravery for their work on the Cervical Check scandal.
Labour Women created this award last year in memory of the murdered MP Jo Cox, and it was presented alongside the outgoing chair of Labour Women Sinead Ahern, and the incoming chair Ellen O’Sullivan during a live TV discussion on the Future of Women’s Health.
Deputy Kelly said:
“After working with Vicky, Stephen and Lorraine over the last number of months, I am delighted to have presented them with Labour Women’s Jo Cox Award for all they have done to highlight the failures by the State throughout the Cervical Check scandal.
“Vicky, Stephen and Lorraine and other members of the 221 Group have done themselves and all the women of Ireland a serious service.
“Vicky in particular could have stayed quiet but she put herself in the spotlight so other women who have been caught at the centre of this scandal could receive justice. Her bravery and courage has inspired so many of us and I am proud to call her a friend.
“Since the Scally Report was published, Vicky, Stephen and Lorraine have continued their advocacy in the establishment of the 221+ Group. They have used their experiences to help begin what will doubtless be a decade’s long campaign of reform around women’s healthcare in Ireland.
“In presenting the Jo Cox Award to this brave group of people, I have doubled down in my commitment to make sure that all of the recommendations made by Dr.Scally will be implemented. I will continue to hold the HSE and Minister Harris to account in that regard.
“Vicky, Stephen and Lorraine’s campaign to ensure the Cervical Check scandal never happens again, embodies the theme of this year’s conference of delivering decency, justice and equality to all citizens.
“In a New Republic, women’s healthcare is paramount. After repealing the 8th amendment we will map out what needs to happen next. We are serious about bringing in a fair health system that treats all patients equally.”