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inspiration Vicky Phelan says she is ‘deeply honoured’ to be fifth woman to be given the freedom of Limerick

The accolade recognises Vicky's contribution to exposing the Cervical Check scandal

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Vicky Phelan

Vicky Phelan

Vicky Phelan

Vicky Phelan has said that she is “deeply honoured” to be only the fifth woman to be given the Freedom of Limerick.

The 48-year-old will be recognised for her work in “uncovering the Cervical Check scandal and her tireless support of other women who have been affected and are fighting for justice.”

"I am deeply honoured, to be quite honest, because I never realised there were so few women who went before me,” she told Newstalk ahead of the ceremony today.

"So I'm only the fifth woman in Limerick to have this award bestowed upon them, and the women that have gone before me have been fairly serious contenders.

"So it's great to be another woman to add to that list - and please God there'll be more than that."

Vicky said that while she is not from Limerick, but rather Kilkenny, she considers the Munster county her ‘adopted home’.

"I've lived in Limerick far longer than I lived in Kilkenny, so I suppose I could argue that point too.

"But it definitely means a huge lot to me and my family.

"I think I can walk a herd of sheep up O'Connell Street or something like that. That's pretty much it, I don't get much else out of it."

The ceremony to honour Vicky was due to take place in January, however it was delayed due to an issue with the scroll.

"Apparently it's made from silver and they're kind of specially commissioned, so I'm very interested to see what that looks like."

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When it comes to her terminal illness, the mother of two said she is having a good week.

"I'm actually good at the moment, I'm good this week.

"We've made a few adjustments to my medications and I'm doing a lot better this week than I have been in the previous few weeks.

"So I think the minor adjustments we've made have made a huge difference to me.

"I've a little bit more energy during the day and I have a bit more of an appetite, because my appetite was a huge problem.

"I just wasn't able to eat really and I was losing a lot of weight - and I really can't afford to lose any more weight than I already have."

The Freedom of Limerick is the highest civic honour that can be bestowed upon an individual by Limerick City and County Council.

The decision to award Vicky this accolade was reached at a special meeting of Limerick City and County Council after being nominated by Mayor Daniel Butler.

“Vicky is an inspiration. She has faced and continues to face her challenges head-on with a drive and a determination that has garnered the respect and admiration of all,” Mr Butler said of Ms Phelan.

“Her work encapsulates the ideals of the freedom of Limerick. She has empowered women to be able to speak their truth and ensure their health is treated with respect and attention it deserves.”

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