Before I speak on the issue, I express my sympathies to the family of Laura Brennan, an exemplar in public health, to her parents Bernie and Larry, to her brothers Colin, Fergal and Kevin, and to her uncle Tommy who was an Independent member of Clare County Council. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a h-anam dílis. I also mention the former Deputy John Browne, whom I knew well. He was a genial and friendly person and a gentleman to his bones. Again, I express sympathy to the Browne family on their loss and we will probably get an opportunity to make a proper expression of sympathy for the former Deputy Browne.
The context is similar in terms of Laura Brennan. I want to raise the commitments made in terms of the CervicalCheck scandal with the Taoiseach, particularly on behalf of those who are representing those who were affected by that scandal. First, would the Taoiseach commit to an ex gratia payment to cover the independent review of slide costs?
Many individuals are not in the greatest financial situation and have had to pay up to €2,000 because they are required to hire a solicitor and go through all of the procedure for the review. I ask that this be done expeditiously.
In terms of legislation and the Meenan report, it is extremely important that we get a timeline for the publication of the legislation establishing the tribunal. Crucially, there is a need to update the terms of reference for the CervicalCheck steering committee to ensure that the Department of Health and the committee stay on board until the Scally recommendations are fully implemented, the backlog in testing has been cleared, the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists review is complete and the HPV screening programme has begun to be rolled out. I am saying this because there was an attempt by the Department of Health to close down the steering committee recently. I have the minutes here that confirm this. That cannot happen until those four areas are dealt with. I ask the Taoiseach to commit to updating the terms of reference to ensure that.