More than 400 people turn out at Tralee vigil to show support for Emma Mhic Mhathuna

More than 400 people turned out in Tralee town square last night to show solidarity with Emma Mhic Mhathuna, who found out she’s terminally ill, following errors in the Cervical Check system.

A second such event is due to be held in West Kerry tonight.

The largely female crowd who turned out in Tralee staged a silent protest, but were addressed briefly by organiser Cllr Toireasa Ferris, as well as Ms Mhic Mhathuna herself.

Cllr Ferris said the event was organised to show solidarity with Emma, Vicky Phelan and the other 206 women caught up in the smear test scandal.

A similar protest is being organised tonight in West Kerry.

Tralee native Caroline Somers, who was among those who attended last night, said Emma’s story struck a chord with her, as a fellow single parent:

Emma herself said she was overwhelmed by the outpouring of support shown to her by the people of Kerry, and women in particular:

The second vigil takes place in Ballydavid at 7.30 this evening.


Meanwhile Cabinet is meeting this morning to discuss setting up a new board to oversee the Health Service Executive.

Simon Harris says it’s part of measures to ensure there’s accountability within the organisation.

It follows the Cervical Check controversy which has seen the head of the HSE Tony O’Brien step down and an inquiry launched.

The previous HSE board was abolished in 2011.