An Evelyn O’Rourke TG4 Documentary Will Investigate Cervical Cancer Care In Ireland

Evelyn O’Rourke: Ailse & Ise will examine cervical cancer care for women in Ireland, which stems from the CervicalCheck controversy from 10 years ago.

Ten years on with the CervicalCheck controversy still unresolved, Irish broadcaster and mother Evelyn O'Rourke will investigate in a TG4 documentary the current experience of women who are diagnosed with cancer in Ireland today.

When Evelyn O’Rourke was on maternity leave with her first child she discovered that she was pregnant for the second time. Within a week of this wonderful news, her world came crashing down around her when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. In this feature-length documentary, Evelyn will meet women, families, doctors, and service providers to better understand cervical cancer care in Ireland.

Every year, 10,500 Irish women receive the devastating news of a cancer diagnosis. With Covid wreaking havoc on our health system recently, cancer care has inevitably been badly hit.  

The aim of the feature is to investigate the medical, emotional, psychological, and sociological elements that women with cancer experience in the country, and explore how we can better deliver the kind of effective and humane service every Irish woman in this situation deserves.

Evelyn learns of other women’s experiences from around the country, and how it impacts on their lives and the lives of their loved ones. Under the shadow of Covid, she consults with Professor Janice Walshe in St Vincent’s University Hospital to hear about advances in cancer care and asks director Dr Nóirín Russell about rebuilding trust in the CervicalCheck program.

In 2014, Evelyn O'Rourke published a memoir Dear Ross, which charted her personal journey using complete frankness and a great sense of humour. She has worked as an advocate for Cancer Trials Ireland since her own illness, and now ten years on she wishes to find out if much has changed in that time.

Here is the trailer for the TG4 documentary.

Evelyn O’Rourke: Ailse & Ise is scheduled for broadcast on TG4 at 9.30pm on Wednesday, May 12.

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