A new patient support group has been launched for those affected by the Cervical Check scandal.
Vicky Phelan, Stephen Teap and Lorraine Walsh have established the 221+ group.
This is with the support of the Marie Keating Foundation, the Irish Cancer Society and the Irish Patients Association.
It will be funded by the Department of Health and will operate entirely independently of the Health Service Executive (HSE).
This group has been established to represent the current known - and unknown - women and families impacted by the Cervical Check controversy.
Its main objective will be to meet the needs of patients directly affected by the controversy and their next of kin by providing information, advice and support.
It will also provide expertise and advice to women in relation to a range of relevant topics - including information on clinical trials and new and emerging treatment options, including immunotherapy drugs.
Relevant information and resources will also be made available to members through its website - which will contain some public information on the group as well as a closed members' portal.
Carrie Smith has been appointed as coordinator of the group.
(Left to right) Campaigners Vicky Phelan, Stephen Teap and Lorraine Walsh at the launch of 221+ Cervical Check Patient Support Group at Farmleigh House in Dublin | Image: Niall Carson/PA Wire/PA Images
Speaking at the launch on Sunday, Vicky Phelan said: ""The Cervical Check scandal has been traumatic for the 221+ patients and their families.
"Part of the process in healing from trauma is connecting with others who have been affected. One of the main functions of the 221+ Patient Support Group is to provide a safe, open, caring, supportive environment to allow this healing to take place."
Lorraine Walsh added: "The day I found out I had cancer was what I thought was the worst day of my life - I was wrong.
"The day I found out that I shouldn't have got cancer had my smear been read properly was the worst day of my life.
"I am now riddled every day with the awful thoughts of 'what if?' which has shaken me to my very core and challenged me mentally and emotionally beyond any physical or emotional challenges that I ever experienced before.
"The support that I have received from the fellow women and families involved in this disaster has been so comforting and today we launch our official support group 221+ so we can continue to support each other through this very difficult time, it is soothing to be among people that understand my heartache as they are dealing with their own pain".
Speaking on behalf of the three founding patient organisations, Stephen McMahon said: "The mission of 221+ is to be a meaningful caring presence and support for women with cervical cancer, their partners and families.
"They are at the centre of all we do, we will listen to their needs, fulfill them as best we can, learn from their experiences and through 221+ and it's alliance of founding members be an independent Powerful Partner at the places of reform".
The group's name represents the women who had their smear tests incorrectly read, as well as those who are not yet known.