Vicky Phelan Biography

Vicky Phelan, an advocate for patient rights and a crusader for improved healthcare for women, passed away due to cervical cancer. She was gutsy and determined in her work. Ms. Phelan rose to prominence in the public eye as a major public personality during the effort to expose the manipulation of the results of cervical cancer screening, which would go on to become one of the most significant political and medical scandals of our time.
Ms. Phelan, a resident of Co. Kilkenny, made history when she became the first person to file a lawsuit against the Irish health authorities and the American laboratory that had processed her cervical smear test. She gave voice to a great number of other women who had been suffering in silence by speaking publicly outside the Four Courts on April 25, 2018, after resolving her High Court action for €2.5 million. The case had been settled the day before. It was then discovered that more than 220 women who had been diagnosed with cervical cancer had been given the all-clear based on the results of cervical smear tests that had been performed as part of the CervicalCheck screening program. These results were later shown to be indicative of cervical cancer in a review, however many of the women who later had cervical cancer were not informed of the previous inaccuracies. The review was conducted after these results were found to be symptomatic of cervical cancer.
Ms. Phelan, along with Lorraine Walsh and Stephen Teap (whose wife Irene was one of the women who had inaccurate smear test results and died of cervical cancer before details of the audit were revealed), was a founding member of the 221+ CervicalCheck Patient Support Group. This organization held meetings with politicians in an effort to seek a redress scheme for the women who were given inaccurate cervical smear test results. As a result of the legal settlement reached by Ms. Phelan, Dr. Gabriel Scally was selected by the government to conduct an evaluation of the CervicalCheck program. His report was released in September of 2018, and it contained fifty suggestions, each of which was taken up by the government and implemented.



Vicky Phelan is survived by her husband, Jim, her daughter, Amelia, her son, Darragh, her parents, John and Gaby Kelly, her brothers, Robbie, Lee and Jonnie, her sister, Lyndsey, nieces and nephews.

Cause Of Death

In 2014, a diagnosis of cervical cancer was made regarding Ms. Phelan.