Amnesty International, ICCL and SoS Press Conference

Media Advisory

Rights groups call for fundamental changes to Symphysiotomy Payment Scheme as vital ​hospital ​records emerge

Irish Council for Civil Liberties and Amnesty International Ireland join forces with Survivors of Symphysiotomy to strongly criticise the terms and conditions of the Government’s Payment Scheme.

Irish Council for Civil Liberties / Amnesty International Ireland / Survivors of Symphysiotomy press conference taking place at 2.15pm, Tuesday 9 December 2014.


On the eve of international human rights day, Ireland’s leading non-governmental human rights organisations, the Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL) and Amnesty International Ireland join Survivors of Symphysiotomy in a public call for fundamental changes to the Government’s Symphysiotomy Payments Scheme to bring it into line with international human rights standards.

Hospital records have now emerged in a number of HSE regions that have not previously been ​disclosed. Marie O’Connor will outline the implications of this discovery, which casts doubt on the basis of the Minister’s ‘no fault’ scheme and sheds new light on its ‘hold harmless’ waiver.


2.15pm, Tuesday, 9 December 2014, Buswells Hotel, Molesworth Street, Dublin 2


– Mr Mark Kelly, Executive Director, Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL)

– Mr Colm O’Gorman, Executive Director, Amnesty International Ireland

– Ms Marie O’Connor, Chairperson, Survivors of Symphysiotomy

For press attendance, and to request advance interviews with the conference speakers, please contact:

Walter Jayawardene
Communications Manager, Irish Council for Civil Liberties
Mob: +353 87 9981574
Éimear Green
Communications Officer Amnesty International
Tel: 085 8148986; 01 8638300

Marie O’Connor​

Chairperson, Survivors of Symphysiotomy​
Mob: +353 86​ 81 80 254

Notes to editors
The Irish Council for Civil Liberties, Amnesty International Ireland and Survivors of Symphysiotomy have been strongly critical of the Government’s Symphysiotomy Payments Scheme, particularly its truncated time limits and its waiver, which requires survivors accepting payments to “indemnify and hold harmless” those responsible for their suffering, including doctors, consultants, obstetricians and the Medical Missionaries of Mary, which ran a hospital (Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Drogheda), where much of this surgical abuse was perpetrated .

The joint press release on this subject issued by ICCL/Survivors of Symphysiotomy​ can be found at the following links: and​

Amnesty International’s press release can be found at this link:

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