We have previously written blogs about symphysiotomy and the 1,500 Irish women who were victims of this barbaric procedure between 1944 and 1992. The Organisation for Survivors of Symphysiotomy, and many TDs have been looking for an amendment to the Statute of Limitations so that survivors of symphysiotomies could seek compensation and damages from the State. The Private Members’ Bill on symphysiotomy was recently presented in the Dail and Minister for Health James Reilly said that the Government will not oppose the Bill. The Bill will set aside the Statute of Limitations for one year and allow the 200 (approximately) surviving symphysiotomy victims to seek redress through the Courts.
Women who had a symphysiotomies suffered permanent damage as a result. Many suffered a life of pain and discomfort because of incontinence, chronic pain, prolapsed organs, neurological and psychological problems. What is even more disturbing is that most of the women were not aware that they had undergone this procedure until several years later or very recently.
Many of the surviving women, who would have had the procedure in the 1960s, 70s and 80s, were present in the Dáil when Sinn Féin’s health spokesman Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin moved the Bill on behalf of the all-party Oireachtas support group.
Marie O’Connor, spokeswoman for the Organisation for Survivors of Symphysiotomy, said; “Many of our members are no longer in the springtime of life. It is essential there are no further delays enabling them access to truth and justice.”