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Late Late Show viewers praise emotional tribute to ‘national treasure’ Vicky Phelan

“Through her refusal to be silenced she saved lives… she fought the system while she herself was suffering.”

National treasure Vicky Phelan was celebrated on last night's Late Late Show© RollingNews.ie

Maeve McTaggartSunday World

The Late Late Show has moved viewers with a “beautiful” tribute to the late CervicalCheck campaigner Vicky Phelan.

The mum-of-two passed away on Monday at the age of 48 after a lengthy public battle with cervical cancer.

Viewers took to Twitter to praise the show and reflect on the “profound” loss her death is to the country and her lasting legacy.

"Before we begin tonight’s show, let me and let us remember Vicky Phelan,” began host Ryan Tubridy.

"I mentioned this during the week but I’m going to say it again; because some people are simply too alive to die, and Vicky Phelan was one such person.

“We knew this would end badly, we knew that this story would end sadly but, to be honest with you, it was still such a shock to all of us when the news came through that Vicky had died.

“Our thoughts tonight are with the family and friends of Vicky Phelan. We’re thinking of Darragh and Amelia and Jim, and Vicky’s parents Gabby and John.

"We’re going to honour Vicky in our small way tonight, we’re going to acknowledge the impact she had on this country and women and on families and on the system.

“Through her refusal to be silenced she saved lives, and few people in recent Irish history have made such a profound difference on women’s healthcare and how patients are treated. She fought the system while she herself was suffering.

“She was honest, she was a straight-talker and when she talked, the country listened. So, tonight we’ve lost an ally and an advocate – the likes of which we are unlikely to ever see again.”

The show then played a moving tribute to the woman who has been described as a “hero” in the days since her death.

Played to the soundtrack of Rise Up by Andra Day, viewers were left in awe as the show paid respect to the campaigner.

To a standing ovation, The Stunning, one of Vicky’s favourite bands, played a song in her honour.

"A stunning band for a stunning person who made such a difference, class standing ovation. From all here in Cork,” one viewer tweeted.

"Rest In Peace Vicky. What a warrior you were. Deepest condolences to your family and friends,” another said.

"Those that are responsible for this scandal - I hope you are bowing your heads in shame. How much more do the women and their families have to endure.”

A third wrote: “My god what a beautiful & very emotional & sensitive tribute to a wonderful lady. You brought this island of Ireland together! Rest In Peace Vicky Phelan."

A year ago to the day, the CervicalCheck campaigner appeared on The Late Late Show.

One viewer recalled the show: “Last time Vicky Phelan was on The Late Late Show I tweeted 2 words and I will finish tonight back tweeting them again: National treasure.”

Ms Phelan was aid to rest privately this week in her local Limerick as family follow her wishes.

They have asked for “donations, in lieu of flowers” to Milford Care Centre, where she died “in the presence of her loving family, after a long illness borne with great dignity”.


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