Women in Donegal may have received incorrect smear results

Cancer patient settlement €2.5M by High Court

According to the HSE, nearly 1,500 cases of cervical cancer have been notified to the cervical screening programme, CervicalCheck, since it began a decade ago.

The 206 women whose smear tests were misread should have been referred on for further investigation, including an invasive diagnostic procedure or repeat smear, which could have picked up their cancer and led to earlier treatment.

But three years later, a review found the results were incorrect.

The official defence documents filed by the HSE in Ms Phelan's case show that the state was also denying it had any duty of care towards her husband, who also took part in the action against the HSE and the USA lab which carried out the misread test.

By the time she had another smear test in 2014 she had cervical cancer.

This morning the court was told the case had now settled and the case against the HSE could be struck out with no order. "The Chair of the SIMT will present the review to the DG of the HSE".

The figures were released following the controversy surrounding Vicky Phelan (43), a mother of two from Limerick, who was given incorrect cancer results and is now terminally ill.

Professor Shepherd said in his opinion this delay was "most irregular" and absolutely should not happen.

A High Court action taken by Ms Phelan and her husband Jim Phelan against the Health Service Executive and Clinical Pathology Laboratories Inc, Austin, Texas, began last week.

"I asked were any women who had been included in the audit...had any of them died".

A smear test is undertaken to detect any abnormality which would be indicative that there is something untoward happening.

Mr Harris said he had not been aware that other women were involved when he was first told about Ms Phelan's case.

Solicitor for Ms Phelan, Cian O'Carroll, told RTÉ's This Week that the defence documents lodged in the court case by the State contradict the terms of the apology issued last week.

In July of that year Ms Phelan was determined to have cervical cancer and experienced radical chemo-radiotherapy.

"Despite these achievements, every diagnosis of cervical cancer is one too many and we acknowledge the impact of this disease on women and their families".

Prof Flannelly is said to have informed the HSE of her decision yesterday evening.

"Despite this, cervical screening represents one of the most effective ways to prevent cervical cancer".