Just William



“It is time for some plain speaking. Everybody knows that the Bill is the product of political expediency (and, for the Labour Party, an important and necessary step on a sure road to wide-ranging abortion). Those who are lawyers know that it is not legally required. Those who are doctors know that it is not medically necessary. And those who are psychiatrists know that it is actually damaging to the welfare of some of their patients.”


TCD Law Professor William Binchy (above) writing in today’s Irish Times says the proposed abortion legislation is not required.

This, despite Professor Binchy being a campaigner for the 8th Amendment in 1983.

The wording of which was described at the time as “a legal time bomb”.

With then attorney general Patrick Connolly correctly predicting that it “might well have the effect of threatening the right of the mother” to have a life-saving operation“.

Binchy refers to Dr Rhona Mahony as “Dr Rhona O’Mahony”, a minor faux pas but indicative of the importance of fact checking.

It’s time we had some plain speaking on abortion Bill (William Binchy, Irish Times)

Abortion referendum wording was seen as ‘time bomb’ (Joe Humphreys, Irish Times)

Previously: And So It Came To Pass

What Rhona Said

(Wanderley Massafelli /Photocall Ireland, YouTube)

54 thoughts on “Just William


      “both still on our airwaves and other media….”

      What, like they should have some Section 31 type censorship, perhaps we should open their post too.

    1. cluster

      He’s one of those guys who gets an easy ride for his Catholic-dogma-wrapped-up-in-a-thin-layer-of-pseudo-intellectualism because he is well-connected.

      This guy fought hard against allowing couples whose marriage had broken up to divorce, in the 1990’s. Think about how batsh1t crazy that is for a second

  1. Blobster

    Fact checking is important alright. Even if it is just an extra O.
    Interestingly RTE’s Morning Ireland apologised this morning for getting their facts wrong. They apologised (Thurs 9th May approx 0850) for mistakenly saying that Prof Fergusson had been unhappy with certain statements from the Iona Institute about his work. I think that was how they worded it. I don’t have a link but approx 0850. Important to point out all inn
    inaccuracies in the debate (especially if BS is going to the trouble of pointing out the missing O.

      1. Blobster

        I’ll leave that to BS. They were able to get a transcript of the original debate so I’m sure they’ed have no trouble finding the relevant piece. As I say – formal apology at c. 0850 this morning. To be honest I wouldn’t know where to look to find it on the rte website.

    1. Paul Moloney

      They apologised for putting the word “unhappy” in this mouth. Which frankly was a stupid thing to do, as RTE staff should know by now how well organised/connected the Opus Dei/militant Catholic set are and that any such report should be watertight (rather than hemming and hawing through the thing).

      To be clear, DF said this:

      “it would be misleading for anyone to state emphatically that abortion does or does not help suicidal women. So I’m really taking a position of sitting on the fence here, saying if the research hasn’t been done, we really need to adopt a neutral position on this argument until better information is available.”


  2. sickofallthisbs

    Broadsheet are you saying that his arguments are invalid because he incorrectly added an O to somebody’s name?

    Can you not see how pathetic that line of argument is?

    1. Bob

      Actually, they point out that it’s “a minor faux pas but indicative of the importance of fact checking.” It isn’t the basis of this article.

      1. sickofallthisbs

        That is not what I asked. Why bring it up, unless you want to cast aspersions on the person’s ability/argument?

        Tackle the argument not the typos.

        1. Bob

          I’m answering your question. It was an aside that you picked up on and ignored the rest of the article because of it.

          1. CousinJack

            Plus Rhona Mahony is to be worshipped as a living god of female exquisiteness

  3. SwayingRight

    The campaign against anyone Pro-Life is getting a bit ridiculous BS, remember all stick the Vigil for Life got over the iPad prize and just yesterday you were promoting free festival tickets if people signed up to work for ARC. It’s such a skewed view it’s becoming tiresome.

    1. sickofallthisbs

      I’d vote for abortion, but I am sick of the witch hunting going on in the media. BS in particular seems to have this smug attitude that I find increasingly less endearing and professional.

      All reason and all reasoned debate has gone out the window.

      1. cluster

        There isn’t half enough witch-hunting going on in the media in my view. Public figures are allowed campaign strongly in line with Catholic dogma without ever being questioned on the fact.

        Patricia Casey and William Binchy are allowed use the bully pulpit afforded to them by secular, publicly-funded universities to do Rome’s bidding. I’m not saying they should be silenced but their religious affiliations are relevant to the discussions at hand and should be part of the overall discussion.

    2. Bob

      BS is a pro-choice site and has never hidden that fact. Go on to the Iona Institute or Youth Defence sites and see how even handed their arguments are.

      If you want balanced debate, go to a balanced site.


        Yeah Bob represents Broadsheet.ie so he does, so he can speak on behalf of all the contributors.

  4. Luny Loo

    Someone talking sense will definitely get bashed by the lefties.

    If this ever went to a public vote, the majority would still reject abortion in most forms, excluding where the baby has zero chance of surviving. Thats why most TDs are afraid. They know abortion is unpopular.

    Those who are most outspoken are not always the largest in number.

    1. Rep

      “Those who are most outspoken are not always the largest in number.”

      I am confused. The most outspoken seem to be the pro-Life people. By your rational, they are therefore in the minority?

      1. Luny Loo

        The most outspoken in the microcosm world that is controlled by the broadsheet gods, also called admins, are lefties.

        1. Jandals

          I love the terms lefties and pinkos. Sound so snuggly. Not an insult, so maybe you could try another? Commie also sounds nice, like a little fluffy dog.

          1. CousinJack

            And the opposite of commie is fascist.
            Us lefties are clearly wrong and we should leave it to the franco loving catholic fascists to detremine our future (and perhaps later murder us in our sleep)

        2. Sido

          @ Luny “broadsheet gods, also called admins,
          Go on then – what f**kin planet are you from?


        That’s because they have more to say, pro-choicers run out of slogans after about 2 minutes

    2. pedeyw

      It would seem to me that the most outspoken in this debate are the pro-lifers. They’re certainly getting more media exposure than their numbers (and arguments) deserve.

  5. General Waste

    Just as William Binchy crawls out from under his rock so do the trolls defending him on here. Big rock.

  6. Sido

    Let me guess, he’s a Roman Catholic but he doesn’t see what that has to do with the argument.

    One of a long line of coffin dodgers, revived because the current “pro-life” academic team look distinctly dodgy.

      1. Sido

        You asked “In what way is his age relevant to his argument?
        It appears that in your indignation you couldn’t be bothered to read or understand the rest of my comment. Let me spell it out for you.

        It was to the effect that that current (young and middle aged) academic team, sported by the so called “pro life” movement were having difficulty justifying their jibber jabber under even the spotlight of RTE. (for instance)
        Hence the need to drag these ancient defenders of the faith of their sofa’s.

        1. Blobster

          Were the likes of Binchy, Kiely and Casey retired from either their professional careers as a Professor of Law, a paediatrician or a Professor of Psychiatry respectively or from the pro-life movement Sido?

          I don’t think they were. Not that it should matter in order to have your say, but they’re all practicing professionals in fairly relevant professions.

          1. cluster

            Law is a big field and Binchy’s speciality is not medical cases nor constitutional law so let’s not be stretching too much.

          2. Sido

            Blobster – If you can’t be bothered to read what I said.
            Please don’t feel obliged to comment on it.
            Especially with your own particular brain dead style.

          3. Blobster

            Don’t give me that Sido:

            “Hence the need to drag these ancient defenders of the faith of their sofa’s.”

            They weren’t on their sofas, as you suggest, they were at work. Find some other way to try to invalidate their views. Cluster does a nice line in “their job spec isn’t quite right.”

          4. Sido

            Give you what Blobster?

            No, my compliments on being able to type out two sentences together, in your last comment – in fairness

  7. SwayingRight

    ABM, just because I don’t agree with the how the Pro-Choice side resort to mudslinging doesn’t mean that I agree with your hard-line stance either, it’s not a black and white issue for me. The problem for me is the BS don’t have to agree with my view but shouldn’t demean people’s genuine concerns esp when well respects doctors, lawyers and politicians share those concerns.

    1. CousinJack

      Your problem is respect. You shouldn’t respect any one who hasn’t earned it. Being a doctor, lawyer and especially politician does not make a person respectable

    2. SwayingRight

      Sido – If you can’t be bothered to read what I said.
      Please don’t feel obliged to comment on it.
      Especially with your own particular brain dead style.

      1. Sido

        There you go again – read the comment before you reply.

        And if you have difficulty with it get back to me.

  8. Sgt. Bilko

    In fairness to Binchy, he’s good on his own area of expertise, which is the law of torts. I haven’t made use of his text on that area in a while, but I remember it being quite.

    However, he’s a shambles on constitutional law, blinded as he is his extremist religious views, and has been demonstrably, gravely wrong on every position he has taken on this particular issue for decades.

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