The Government has agreed a redress scheme for women who underwent symphysiotomy, the surgical procedure to break the pelvis during childbirth to allow a baby to be born.

The fund for the compensation scheme is €34m.

Compensation will be paid on a ex-gratia basis without admission of liability on the part of the State.

The procedure was performed on around 1,500 women between the 1920s and up to 1984.

Around 250 women who had the procedure are still alive today.

Campaign groups say the women suffered physical and mental health issues after the procedure, including chronic pain, incontinence, difficulty walking as well as sexual problems throughout their lives.

A number of successful High Court compensation cases were taken.

A 2013 report into the practice of symphysiotomy by Professor Oonagh Walsh commissioned by the Department of Health and a report commissioned by the Government last November from Judge Yvonne Murphy on a possible redress scheme are due to be published today.

Symphysiotomy was still carried out at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda up to 1984, years after it had ceased being performed in other hospitals.

The procedure was replaced by Caesarean Section.

Patient Focus, Survivors of Symphysiotomy Limited and Survivors of Symphysiotomy have campaigned in favour of different approaches to how the issue should be resolved. “