Ruth Morrissey was 'wise beyond her years', funeral told

Ruth Morrissey is survived by her husband Paul and daughter Libby.

Additional reporting: Press Association

CervicalCheck campaigner Ruth Morrissey was “stunningly beautiful, caring and wise”, her husband has told her funeral mass.

Ms Morrissey, who died on Sunday at the age of 39, was among hundreds of women affected by the controversy around incorrect smear test results.

Close friends and family gathered at Mary Magdalene Church, Monaleen, Co Limerick for her funeral.

Delivering a personal tribute, Mrs Morrissey’s husband Paul said: “I met Ruth Maloney when she was 17 and I was 19. From that moment on, it was just the two of us – a team.”

“Not only was Ruth stunningly beautiful with a smile that would light up any room that she walked into, she was so loving and caring and well able to give sound advice, whether you wanted to hear it at the time or not.

“She was wise beyond her years – so witty, great fun and people were drawn to her. I don’t know how I got so lucky when she agreed to come my way.”

Mr Morrissey continued: “In 2011, we became a trio when our amazing daughter Libby was born. Ruth was a natural mother, she adored Libby and Libby made Ruth so proud and happy. Everything we did was as a family and spending time together was so important.

“Libby has inherited so many of Ruth’s qualities. She made a card for her mother on Saturday and signed it ‘mini Ruth’ – I think that says it all."

Mr Morrissey broke down as he said: “Me and Libby are truly heartbroken and devastated. I don’t think we will ever recover from losing Ruth.”

Fr Pat Hogan paid tribute to Ruth Morrissey and described her as a “beautiful soul”.

“Ruth has shared great love, Ruth has worked and lived justice,” he told the mass.

The song Roar by Katy Perry was played as Ruth Morrissey’s coffin left the church.

A large crowd was gathered outside to watch as the campaigner’s coffin was taken for a private burial.

Her daughter Libby carried a single yellow rose.

The Dáil held a minutes' silence in Ms Morrissey's honour on Tuesday, with Taoiseach Micheál Martin apologising to the Morrissey family for the "litany of failures" in the cervical cancer screening program.

Ms Morrissey was one of over 200 women who received inaccurate smear test results, which led to some cancers not being detected until they had become terminal.

Sinn Féin president Mary Lou McDonald said it was too late for nice words, referencing the appeal of the High Court's decision in action taken by Ms Morrissey against the State.

"There is no words that you can say today that can adequately convey the magnitude of the loss felt by her death, but suffice to say that the State grievously failed Ruth Morrissey."