Where is the Hope?

Earlier this week Health Minister Mary Harney in the Irish Republic put on the back burner a programme to vaccinate 12 year olds in the recently announced HPV vaccination programme. This is reversing a decision made last August. Read more on the Irish Times website. The vaccine has the potential to prevent cervical cancer.

With decisions like this and no forward planning what hope have anyone of us in:

Ray D’Arcy on his radio show suggested a way to let Mary Harney know what people thought, ‘What if everyone sent emails to the Minister with photos of their daughters expressing their dismay over this decision to deny these girls a vaccine which may prevent them getting cervical cancer in later years?’

The Ray D’Arcy show has a link where you can send an email directly and it will only take a second. You can do it here: Today FM. Or if you’d like to send a photo of your daughter, the address is: minister’s_office@health.irlgov.ie

Having watched and helped to look after a very dear friend who slowly lost her battle with the curse that cervical cancer is, I would never wish for anyone else to face and endure that journey.

Other blogs that I know of who have so far taken up this topic:


Paddy Anglican




The Cedar Lounge

8 thoughts on “Where is the Hope?

  1. steph


    Thanks for helping to highlight this scandal. We need all the voices we can get to make Harney reverse her decision.

    The HPV vaccination should not be seen as an expense but rather as a long term investment. It’s proven to reduce overall cervical cancer rates.

  2. Nick

    I imagine it’s basically a cost-cutting measure in the light of the economic crisis. We’re going to see a lot more of those. But obviously health should be a number one priority for spending and cost-cutting if any should have to be 100% justified. How can axing vaccinations and cancer-prevention possibly be justified?

    I see Grandad’s also pretty angry about the state of the health service.

  3. Ian


    The Government of which Ms Harney (a Progressive Democrat) was a part was returned to power last year, despite the dire state of health provision. Ms Harney could not carry through measures without the support of the Fianna Fail and Green Party TDs. Ms Harney almost lost her seat in the last election and is standing down this time, so is impervious to threats – even from glum little girls.

    Want to change things? Then pick on the FF and Green TDs in marginal seats.

  4. Pingback: Meanwhile in Northern Ireland - the Cervical Cancer Vaccine programme is rolled out… « The Cedar Lounge Revolution

  5. Annie

    This vaccine is highly controversial here in the US (I am from Newry – so this Irish controversy interests me).

    Here, too many people are concerned about the relatively untested nature of the vaccine and do not want their daughters to receive it. I have to admit I tend to agree – side effects are not yet known. I’m very glad my daughter is not of the age where I have to make a decision on whether she would or would not get it.

    The US immigration services however have stated that all females seeking US citizenship will have to have this vaccine – and so, even though I am eligible for citizenship – my paperwork remains unfiled. I will not have anyone force this vaccine on me – a 36 year old mother, for whom it would be wholly ineffective anyway.

    For what it’s worth- I am not anti vaccine in general – and both my kids have received every recommended vaccine on schedule – it’s just this one that I have such strong feelings about right now – I worry that the risk/benefit is not clear at this point.

  6. Baino

    Well it’s free here (not compulsary) for all girls under the age of 25 and frankly some side effects are probably worth the protection it affords and the consequences of not having it. Your health system is totally stuffed by the sounds of it and Ian’s right. Tackle the marginal electorates rather than having it fall into someone’s Trash bin! I’d chime in if I could but I’m not sure the lone voice of a girl down under would carry much sway!

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