Politicians 'don't even listen to you', says symphysiotomy victim

The Survivors of Symphysiotomy are calling for a negotiated settlement of their legal actions for the "inhuman" procedure they underwent without consent.

The procedure involved women having their pelvises broken before, during or after childbirth - leaving many with lifelong disabilities.

The group is taking its case to the UN Human Rights Committee next month as part of a scrutiny into Ireland's human rights record.

They are calling for:

- An independent statutory inquiry;

- Enactment of the statute of limitations amendment bill of 2013;

- A negotiated settlement of the women's legal actions.

Tilda Behan, who underwent the procedure, said that successive governments have ignored their plight.

"None of them will do anything, never have done and they never will," she said.

"I sat with Micheál Martin for over an hour when he was Minister for Health and the next thing he brought Mary Harney on board - they don't even listen to you.

"I was with [current Health Minister James] Reilly before Christmas and told him my story."

When asked what he said to her, she responded "[He said] 'Terrible'. But sure that's as far as it goes."

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