The Sinn Féin Leader says the Chief Medical Officer should apologise to the women impacted by the CervicalCheck controversy.
The issue has been brought back in the spotlight this week after the settlement reached by 32-year-old mother of two Lynsey Bennett
At a COVID-19 press briefing last night, Dr Tony Holohan was asked whether he wanted to apologise to the women impacted by the controversy as CervicalCheck fell under his remit.
The CMO expressed “a huge amount of regret” over what the women have gone through, and said he had an “enormous sympathy for the women concerned”.
He added he wasn't aware of the facts of the Bennett case.
A State apology has already been made to the women impacted.
However, on today's Hard Shoulder, Mary Lou McDoanld said Dr Holohan should also say sorry.
She said: “I can’t understand why he didn’t.
“I know when you’re being pressed in a media situation like that, and not wanting to have words put in your mouth… but in these circumstances… I think there can never be enough apologies made to these women and these families.
“In his position, I personally think it is the right thing to say sorry, and to offer an apology. I think it would be extremely well received by many of the women and their families affected."
However, she said no amount of apologies can undo what the impacted women have gone through.
In terms of the Lynsey Bennett case, Deputy McDonald said it was 'devastating' to hear the young mother's story.
She said: “I thought it was absolutely devastating to see such a young woman and mother - with two wonderful daughters - so sick yet fighting so hard.
“This is devastating imagery for all of us, because we’d been told those days were behind us, and that no sick woman - that the State had failed so grievously - would again find themselves again before the courts in this way.
“I find myself very angered by it as well, if I’m honest with you.”
Earlier, Dr Gabriel Scally - who led the review into the State screening programme - said the women impacted by the CervicalCheck controversy deserve apologies from the clinicians that failed them.