The Nasty TD…The Smirking Senator


Three women who had pregnancies in which their babies were diagnosed with abnormalities “incompatible with life”, with each “travelling” to have those pregnancies terminated, appeared on last night’s Late Late show.

Their story was featured on the front page of the Irish Times during the week.

The women, top from left: Ruth Bowie, Arlette Lyons and Jenny McDonald told Ryan Tubridy about a meeting they had with 25 TDs and senators at Leinster House on Wednesday to explain their predicament. It was in their own words a tearful and emotional encounter.

Jenny McDonald: “The TDs have been sitting on this for 20 years. That’s what makes me angry. This cannot happen to our children.”

Ryan Tubridy: “Did you say that to the TDs this week?”

McDonald: “Yes.”

Ruth Bowie: “We cried in front of them. We pleaded with them”

Tubridy: “What did you say to them?”

Bowie: “That you have to change this. This is a human rights issue. You cannot do this to us. You cannot turn your back on us. Force us out of our country, away from our families, and treat us like this. It’s barbaric and cruel.”

Tubridy: “Did you feel they were listening?”

Arlette Lyons: “Some of them did. Some of them were lovely and compassionate. We did have one particular TD who was extremely nasty to us.”

Tubridy: “Sorry say that again?”

Lyons: “We had one TD who wasn’t very pleasant.”

Tubridy: “Why not?”

Lyons: “He just wasn’t very pleasant to us but…that’s fine.”

Tubridy: “He just didn’t agree with what you were saying obviously. Again, as there are people now watching who despite everything won’t be happy with what they hear…”

This follows a comment on the Magic Mum forum on Thursday from a woman who said she had been at the meeting:

“I had one TD smirking at us yesterday while we sold our souls on the heartbreak of what we went through he actually had a smile on his face while we were bawling giving them our stories. I have never wanted to smack someone so hard in the face like I wanted to him yesterday. This nasty little man was Ronan Mullen. Please never ever ever vote for him.”

[Ronan Mullen is, in fact, a senator for the NUI Seanad constituency]

She added:

“He told me I should [have] carried my baby until the end because Ireland has the best palliative care in the world, he also said that he was sponsoring [a] child in Africa that had one of the conditions that the other girl Ruth’s baby had. Then he asked one of us at the end of our session, on the quiet, he said “What is your real agenda here?”. This was to a girl who lost her daughter Aoife at 22 weeks.”

Watch in full here.



Mullen told today that he would be “horrified at any suggestion that I was nasty to anyone at that meeting, especially the women who came to tell their stories”.

I would say there was no single politician in that room who did not feel sympathy for those women, regardless of their opinion on abortion. They were treated with respect and sensitivity at all times.”


Ronan Mullen Horrified At ‘Nasty’ Suggestions Over Abortion Debate (Sinead O’Carroll,



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