Consultation Process in relation to the Draft Report on the Practice of Symphysiotomy in Ireland from 1944 – 1984

Professor Oonagh Walsh, independent researcher from University College Cork was commissioned by the Chief Medical Officer in the Department of Health to draft a report in relation to the practice of symphysiotomy in Ireland. Symphysiotomy is an operation to widen a woman’s pelvis, (to allow childbirth) by partially cutting the fibres joining the pubic bones at the front of the pelvis.

This draft report is the first stage of a two-stage process in relation to this research on the practice of symphysiotomy in Ireland. This first stage is an independent academic research report, which is based on an analysis of published medical reports and research. The report contains information about how frequently symphysiotomy was carried out in Ireland and compares rates with other countries.

Feedback is now sought by the researcher for the second stage of the research process, from those with experience of this procedure, particularly women and health professionals. The feedback will be reviewed and considered by Professor Walsh in the development of the final report.

If you would like a copy of the report and details of the consultation process to be posted or emailed to you, please contact the Symphysiotomy Consultation Information line (045 880400) from 11.00am to 2pm daily (Mon to Fri) or email your request to :

The closing date for feedback is 5pm Friday 13th July 2012.