Varadkar 'still hopeful' Cervical Check cases can be settled out of court

Limerick woman Ruth Morrissey had to appear in court last week

Varadkar 'still hopeful' Cervical Check cases can be settled out of court

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar responds to media questions in Phoenix Park, Dublin regarding reports that Theresa May is having difficulty with members of her Cabinet over the Brexit issue | Image: Eamonn Farrell/RollingNews.ie

The Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has rowed back from his guarantee that women affected by the Cervical Check scandal would absolutely not have to face a court room.

But Mr Varadkar hopes none of the women affected will have to go to court to get compensation.

The Taoiseach and Health Minister Simon Harris made the promise when the scandal emerged.

However Limerick woman Ruth Morrissey had to appear before the High Court during her case last week.

Her solicitor said four different dates for mediation were turned down by the State.

Mr Varadkar said that was a special case, as negligence on behalf of the State has yet to be established.

"Mediation did occur in this case, but wasn't successful.

"I spoke to the Attorney-General on Friday, I think it was, to speak to the State Claims Agency to ask that mediation be resumed with a view to settling this case out of court.

"And it's my hope that that can still be done.

"It is, however - and I acknowledge this - it is the constitutional right to go to court is they feel that's in their best interests".

Mr Varadkar said two cases have already been settled without trial.

But opposition parties claim Mr Varadkar has broken his promise to these women and their families.

While victims like Stephen Teap, whose wife died without knowing she had two false smear tests, has said the Taoiseach needs to stand up or get out.