'FUNNY AND KIND' Ryan Tubridy pays touching tribute to ‘extraordinary’ cervical cancer campaigner Vicky Phelan on first anniversary

Vicky passed away last November aged just 48 years old

RYAN Tubridy has paid a touching tribute to cervical cancer campaigner Vicky Phelan one year after her tragic death.

Vicky Phelan passed away last November aged just 48 years old.
On her first anniversary, tributes have been pouring in from many people far and wide.

And Ryan Tubridy paid a touching tribute to the campaigner, who appeared on The Late Late Show while he was the host.

In a story posted on Instagram, Ryan and Vicky can be seen pointing at each other with big smiles.

In a caption written on the post he wrote: "It's a year since we said farewell to the extraordinary Vicky Phelan.
"This photo sums up the side to her that wasn't often seen: playful, funny and kind.

"Thinking of her family and friends today."

Vicky was diagnosed with cervical cancer eight years ago but was given the all-clear after long and difficult treatment.

However, in 2018 she was informed that an audit carried out by CervicalCheck found that her 2011 smear test had been reported as a false negative.
Within weeks a CT scan revealed the cancer had returned and the diagnosis was terminal.

In 2018, on the steps of the High Court in Dublin, Vicky Phelan gave a now infamous speech where she exposed the CervicalCheck scandal.

The mother of two garnered attention from the Irish public after bringing a High Court case over the handling of her cervical smears, prompting a review of Ireland's cervical cancer screening programme, CervicalCheck.

A subsequent investigation revealed over 220 women were affected, while 17 women had already died.

She inspired other women to come forward and has been hailed as the “latter-day warrior queen”.

Despite receiving a terminal cervical cancer diagnosis, Vicky has still been campaigning for better healthcare and better accountability when mistakes are made in the healthcare system in Ireland.


In 2018 Vicky was named one of the BBC’s 100 most inspiring and influential women around the world.

On her anniversary, Vicky's friends have remembered her as an "incredible" woman who "left a huge void" in the wake of her passing.

Alan Kelly TD said he found it "hard to believe" it's been a year since Vicky's death.

He said: "She was an incredible person who has left a huge void firstly for her family and also for her many close friends.

"I am humbled to consider myself one of those.

"Meeting Vicky and working with her on her campaign to bring about change in our health service was the most enduring and privileged thing I’ve ever done in my political career.


"The fight she took on has changed Irish healthcare forever.

"She empowered people to take control and manage their own health, by asking questions and always getting second and third opinions if necessary.

"The changes in relation to CervicalCheck and screening in general are because of her. The HPV vaccine is so critically important and Vicky never stopped pushing for it. The Patient Safety Bill was a priority of Vicky’s and that’s why we had to get it done.

"Vicky helped so many people. No one even knows the extent of help she gave to people.

"Advising women and their families all along the way while she was fighting her own battle.

"She would be furious with the number of CervicalCheck cases still before the courts today, I know that."

Maia Dunphy, The Irish Cancer Society, UL, the Marie Keating Foundation, the Women's Council Ireland and politicians including Gino Kenny TD also paid tribute.

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