As the nation continues to mourn the loss of Vicky Phelan this week, people in Kerry can now pay tribute to her with the opening of books of condolences for the woman who is credited with changing healthcare in the country.
er tragic death on Monday following her courageous battle with cancer has been felt across the country and in Kerry. A book of condolences has opened at County Building in Tralee and at council offices in Killarney today, Tuesday, November 15.
A book of condolences will be opened in Listowel and at Princes Quay in Tralee tomorrow, Wednesday, November 16 at 9am.
Vicky visited Kerry in 2019 when she was a guest at the MTU conferrings.
Vicky has also been remembered by cancer support groups across the country including Recovery Haven in Tralee who paid tribute to Vicky.
Manager Siobhan MacSweeney said she lit a candle when she came to work on Monday for the woman whose openness in sharing her cancer story changed healthcare services and touched all those effected by cancer.
“It is so sad, she is a young woman gone before her time. She was so open and willing to share her story, which is not an easy thing to do. It is sad for the nation,” she said.
“We all feel the sadness of her death, and those that are facing cancer feel the loss even more. She had great strength and her death today [Monday] is a stark reminder for those battling cancer.”
Vicky helped the Kerry Cancer Centre back in 2020 when they were forced to move their annual Celebration of Light online due to the pandemic. Vicky helped promote the event through a radio advert, and Siobhan said they were thankful for her support for the annual ceremony for all those touched by cancer.
Recovery Haven is also hoping to display her portrait in 2023. Discussions had been taking place prior to her death this week about showcasing the painting of the cancer campaigner, which was created by Tullamore-based artist Vincent Devine and was unveiled earlier this year.
The mother-of-two died at Milford Hospice in Limerick in the early hours of Monday, November 14.
She is survived by her husband, Jim; and two children, Amelia and Darragh. Originally from Waterford , she lived in Limerick with her family.
Kerry TD and Education Minister Norma Foley has also paid tribute to Vicky.
“Saddened to learn of the passing of Vicky Phelan. A woman of courage and conviction. A true warrior. Heartfelt sympathy to her family and friends. Rest in peace, Vicky,” she said on social media.
Vicky is credited with exposing the CervicalCheck scandal after she refused to sign a confidentiality clause as part of her €2.5m High Court settlement with US-based Clinical Pathology Laboratories, which had missed her cervical cancer during a 2011 smear test carried out by CervicalCheck.