Fine Gael Senator Catherine Noone and Independent Senator Ronan Mullen at a meeting of the Joint Committee on the 8th amendment of the constitution yesterday
Readers may recall there was a meeting of the Oireachtas Joint Committee on the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution.
At it, representatives of the World Health Organisation Dr Abigail Aiken, Assistant Professor at LBJ School of Public Affairs, Texas; and Dr Ronald Johnson and Dr Bela Ganatra, from the Department of Reproductive Health and Research in the World Health Organisation, fielded questions from members of the committee (top).
Further to this…
Ellen Coyne, in The Times Ireland edition, reports:
Rónán Mullen, a senator opposed to abortion, had a row with the chairwoman of the Oireachtas committee examining the issue of the Eighth Amendment yesterday.
Mr Mullen argued with Catherine Noone, the Fine Gael senator, after a terse session in the committee.
A Times journalist and several TDs who were in the ladies lavatory outside the committee room at the time were able to overhear the entire exchange in the corridor. Mr Mullen was upset after he was criticised for the way in which he questioned two representatives of the World Health Organisation (WHO) during his six minutes of questioning.
The independent senator had claimed that the WHO was wrong for supporting access to contraception after a termination, but not mandatory ultrasound scans for women seeking a termination. Ms Noone interrupted Mr Mullen while he was questioning Ronald Johnson and Bela Ganatra, the health experts, and asked him to give them a chance to answer.
“For those six minutes, they are my witnesses,” Mr Mullen yelled at Ms Noone afterwards.
[Catherine Noone TD] said: “I have written to the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport seeking his views on allowing this vile so-called sport to be given a platform and an audience here and fully believe that this event should not be licensed…”
The senator’s comments come ahead of [Conor] McGregor and fellow Irish fighter Cathal Pendred preparing for their respective bouts in Boston early on Monday morning.
A McGregor win could see a potential title fight in Dublin, possibly in Croke Park in front of 80,000 fans.
I brought up the issue of ice cream vans in the Seanad because when a parent from Wexford raised the topic with me, it struck a chord. The omnipresent chime of the ice cream van at this time of year is just one very small example of the pressures facing parents who are trying to keep their children away from sugar-laden treats. Obesity is not a trivial matter and it is certainly not something I would ever attempt to make light of.
I know all too well that it can’t be solved by regulating ice cream vans; that we need more education; that parents must say no; that children need to be more active; and most of all that a so-called nanny state is not in any way progressive.
Despite taking some flak over the last week, I will continue to talk about obesity and to suggest ideas – be they big or small – on how we can go about reducing it.
Senator Catherine Noone (Fine Gael) has called for the regulation of ice cream vans due to the aggressive selling of ice cream in a Wexford housing estate.
“One [parent] in particular in Wexford told me that there is an ice cream van that visits her estate up to four or five times a day. It is leading to loads of rows between her and her children in particular one child, you know as to whether or not she should allow that child to have either ice cream, slushy drinks, chewing gums.
It does seem frivolous on the face of it but it relates to an issue of pester power.
It’s not that I’m anti-ice cream but the persistent use of chimes in public streets and in estates is an aggressive form of selling.”
[Senator] Catherine Noone (FG), above, said the use of the pill should be a last resort. The rise in sales seemed to indicate that it was being used as a contraceptive.
Young women in many instances were putting themselves at risk of contracting sexually transmitted diseases, she said. The use of the pill also had many side effects in terms of reproductive health as well as all sorts of problems down the line for women in the younger cohort. Perhaps consideration should be given to raising the price, which had been cut from €50 to €15 last year. She believed that a rise in price should be accompanied by an accompanying awareness campaign.
Responding to what he termed her “extraordinary suggestion”, John Crown (Ind) said it was akin to attempting to reduce the incidence of abortion by “increasing the waiting list to 10 months”.