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TD Says Interview With Woman Who Has Terminal Cancer "Seared The Soul Of Our Country"


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The Dáil has heard an interview with a young mother who has terminal cancer was "harrowing to hear" and has "seared the soul of our country".

TDs were responding after 37-year-old mother of five Emma Mhic Mhathuna spoke of her cervical cancer diagnosis in 2016, having been given the all clear three years earlier.

Speaking to RTÉ, Emma said: "I’m dying when I don’t need to die. And my children are going to be without me, and I’m going to be without them."

She also criticised the Government, arguing: "They’re all hiding there in the Dáil and they don’t see what I see."

Fianna Fáil Deputy Leader Dara Calleary raised the interview during leader's questions.

He said: "It's an interview that would stay with anyone who heard it - it seared the soul of our country."

Suggesting Emma's story is only one in an "ocean of anguish", he added: "There are no words that anybody can say that will console her, her five children, her family or her friends."

Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe said details in the interview were "harrowing to hear".

He noted: "There are few words that I can offer that can recognise the scale of tragedy and vast difficulty that Emma and her family are grappling with at the moment."

He said the Government is committed "to ensuring that we establish why this happened, who is accountable, and how this can be prevented in the future".

He added: "The second priority of the Government was to put in place all the supports that we can to offer supports to women, and to offer comfort to women at a time of such great vulnerability."


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