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14th Nov 2022

Ryan Tubridy shares touching tribute to Vicky Phelan

Sarah McKenna Barry

“May Vicky rest in the peace she deserves.”

TV presenter Ryan Tubridy has paid tribute to Irish health campaigner Vicky Phelan, who passed away this morning.

Vicky was among the hundreds of women impacted by the CervicalCheck scandal. Vicky underwent a smear test in 2011, and was given the all-clear. However, in 2014, she was diagnosed with cervical cancer. It wasn’t until 2017 that Vicky was informed that the initial test was incorrect.

She had been sick with cancer for many years.

Taking to Instagram, Ryan, who interviewed Vicky many times, said that he was “at a loss for words” following her death.

He wrote: “I’m at a loss for words today. Our friend, Vicky Phelan has died. She fought and she fought like few others. Strength, bravery, humour, kindness, generosity, intellect and love…Some of the words helping me describe this extraordinary, iconic woman.

“I’m posting a lighthearted photo as Vicky had a wonderful sense of divilment. My thoughts are with her family today. May Vicky rest in the peace she deserves.”

Today saw many people pay tribute to Vicky.

An Taoiseach Micheál Martin described her as a “woman of extraordinary courage and integrity who stood up for the women of Ireland.”

Former RTÉ broadcaster Charlie Bird, who struck up a friendship with Phelan this year, paid respects to his “hero” on Twitter.

“My heart is broken just hearing about the passing of Vicky Phelan,” said Bird.

“Over the past year, she gave me great support to keep fighting my terminal illness. This whole country should be in mourning at the passing of this remarkable human being. My heart is broken. My hero is gone.”

Former RTÉ 2FM broadcaster Louise McSharry praised Phelan for her resiliency and resolve.

She wrote: “I have so much respect and admiration for Vicky Phelan’s refusal to go down quietly, and her unbelievably generous advocacy for other woman.”