Fianna Fáil Health spokesperson Stephen Donnelly has claimed that new evidence released to RTE under Freedom Of Information shows that clear warnings were provided by CervicalCheck to the government detailing real clinical risks to women availing of smear tests.

Deputy Donnelly explained, “The government’s story has changed repeatedly as a series of new evidence has emerged revealing the extent of expert advice given to government NOT to proceed with the offer of free repeat smear tests. This includes advice before the offer was made by the Health Minister and repeatedly afterwards.

“The new evidence uncovered today contains the starkest warning yet of serious health risks to women including those with high grade abnormalities awaiting results.

“I’m calling on the Minister for Health Simon Harris to correct the Dáil record on the issue, to apologise to the 80,000 women currently waiting up to 33 weeks for a smear and most importantly to accelerate efforts to bring waiting times back to normal and introduce the new improved HPV test”, concluded Deputy Donnelly.