‘Equitable And Fair’


Minister for Heath Simon Harris (above left) and Sinn Fein TD Peadar Tóibín on Prime Time last night hosted by Miriam O’Callaghan (top centre)

“The television debate on the referendum continued with the panel of Minister for Health Simon Harris and Peadar Tóibín TD, in addition to substantial contributions from the audience, which gave an equitable and fair opportunity to both sides to express their views.”

RTÉ statement last nighê


Ms [Cora] Sherlock said this morning that “at no stage” did she pull out of the Prime Time debate.

In a video statement on theliberal.ie Facebook page, she called on those in favour of retaining the amendment to “unite again” as a movement.

It is unclear in the statement, what discord or rift Ms Sherlock is referring to.

RTÉ defends ‘fair and equitable’ Prime Time debate (RTÉ)

Earlier: A Limerick A Day

54 thoughts on “‘Equitable And Fair’

  1. Daz

    Was unsure about Harris up until last night. He was very impressive. I hope people were as convinced as myself. Vote yes!

    1. newsjustin

      He was good. He had good lines and was polished and articulate. I don’t think he’s right to propose what he’s proposing but at least he’s now stepped up to defend it.

    2. Diddles

      Harris was brilliant. Katie Ascough’s pro life argument was so bad it was funny.
      ‘I watched a video of an abortion on the internet and it was awful, just awful’

      Going by that logic nobody would ever go for any form of surgery. ‘ I can’t walk on my gammy knee and the doc sez I need a knee replacement but I watched a knee replacement vid on the internet and it was awful, just awful. Blood, tendons, knee caps, ligaments, the lot. I’ll hobble on thank you very much’

      1. Cian

        And nobody took her up on it. Most videos of an abortion would feature a woman swallowing a pill… then some hours later, swallowing another pill.

  2. Repro-choice Bertie

    So if Cora didn’t pull out did the Love Boats want her replaced and is that the split she’s talking about?

    1. newsjustin

      I’d love to know what’s going on behind the scenes. Many in the No side suggest simply that they (the broad No side) wanted Steen and RTE wouldnt allow her on a 2nd TV debate (even though Boylan was allowed on 2).

      Was it a case of the No side attempting to play chicken with RTE to see who’d budge? If so, they lost.

      1. paul

        There has been a shift in the “no” message over the last week.

        They are moving from a ‘No abortion, leave the 8th as it stands’ to a ‘the proposed legislation is wrong, and we might support a change to the 8th it if it were different’.

        Personally, I wouldn’t be surprised if CoraGate is now used as a last-ditch attempt by the No side to portray RTE and the media as completely partisan and to look to grab as many of the undecided with a new message of ‘vote no – you can’t trust the media’

        1. newsjustin

          The No side have been complaining about the legislation since the campaign began. They have now, at least, managed to get people discussing it.

          It is a fact that a constitutional amendment to allow for abortion in the cases of rape, incest and FFAs would be passed by the electorate at a canter. The fact that many pro life campaigners wouldn’t vote for it (I wouldn’t support it for example) doesn’t matter. 85% of the country would I’d say.

          The undeniable fact is that the Government have designed legislation for abortion on demand. Zero abortions will be declined in Ireland under 12 weeks. Not one. There will be no restrictions. The Government are introducing abortion on demand in the back of cases of pregnancies due to rape, incest and for FFAs. It is as transparent as it is cynical.

          1. Listrade

            Transparent, yes. Cynical, I disagree.

            I’m open to hearing a better way of legislating for rape and incest, but all involve an element of official reporting. That can never work.

            Remember this debate was played out in the public commission hearing.

            Are there suggestions as to how a better system could work?

          2. Repro-choice Bertie

            It is also a fact that a constitutional amendment to allow for abortion in the cases of rape is a legal impossibility.

          3. Cian

            The Government, for once, is being pragmatic.
            We have crisis abortion[1] at the moment – you just need to be able to get to the UK.
            Let’s be grown-up for once, and provide the women of Ireland the care that they currently can get in the UK here.

            [1] “abortion on demand” is a horrible phrase. We don’t talk about “orthodontics on demand” we talk about “orthodontics”.

          4. catsiglierie

            @newsjustin Can I just ask then, for absolute clarity; You say you wouldn’t vote for a constitutional amendment to deal with FFA, rape or incest. Surely that means you would be in favour of the state forcing a child of 12/13 to complete a pregnancy if raped and impregnated by her father. Is this the case?

          5. newsjustin

            Hi catsigliere. As I’ve said before I’m not in favour of allowing the abortion of an unborn human because of who their father or mother is, or what crimes their father committed. We don’t execute rapists. So I don’t see why we would execute their offspring.

            I understand that this is FAR from an ideal outcome. Rape is a vile crime and rapists are vile people. But I don’t agree with taking a human life in those circumstances.

          6. catsiglierie

            Thanks for the honest and forthright answer newsjustin. I think you’re absolutely wrong, and what you propose is inhumanely brutal. I hope (stress *hope*) the majority of our fellow citizens agree with me and Saturday brings some form of progress in this matter, but I must admit that I could not countenance ever being in your company, knowing that you would prefer the state treat any woman or child in such a way. Of course, I understand you would presumably feel the same way about me, given how I want to treat the unborn/foetus, but this is not one of those things where we could just shake hands and agree to disagree. Life and humanity is horribly complicated and messy, and unfortunately we must deal with this mess when it arises, rather than doing everything we can to keep our consciences clean at the expense of the pain of others. Sometimes pain is inevitable, and we must try to choose what we think will cause the least suffering. We couldn’t possibly always agree which option that is, but I want to make the various options available, while you want to only have the one option available, and that will always be wrong.

            I won’t pursue the argument about the morning-after-pill, or contraceptives, or masturbation, etc. The beginning of life is impossible to pinpoint, but that may be because it never actually ‘begins’, it just continues infinitely, and I don’t think any argument related to ‘life beginning at conception’ and ‘the ending of a life’ holds enough water to justify various forms of torture to a sentient woman or child.

  3. Cian

    It was a better debate than the last one on RTE. Last night’s audience, in particular, didn’t applaud each and every statement that the two made – which led to a more coherent debate.

  4. Repro-choice Bertie

    On a completely irrelevant note, I was surprised that Tóibín went with a No badge over a Níl one.

    1. ahjayzis

      Be a bit hypocritical. The Common Travel Area and the partition that birthed it is the only reason we haven’t had a revolution over his pet amendment.

    1. Ron Dolan

      Not really, they seem to be a rather misogynistic crew so spurning women should hardly come as a suprise.

      Cora must have overstepped her ‘place’.

      I want more McGuirk on de telly – every time John speaks, a baby burps.

      1. newsjustin

        Interesting, transparent, spin. I dont think anyone else was in the frame to represent the No side apart from two women – Sherlock and Steen. RTE, apparently, were committed to delivering Sherlock and not Steen.

        I hear from Twitter that Miriam was, allegedly texting No side TDs late yesterday evening in an attempt to fill the gap on the No side. Hmmmm.

        1. Frilly Waters

          but shur’ McGuirk himself has been a 2 times no show on the bs.tv panel

          I’d say the fall out was between Sherlock & the Pop-Ups and Steen from the more established No Fixtures

          No way could either of those be put alongside each other
          to face Harris and Mary Higgins

  5. Nigel

    I heard someone on RTE say that Sherlock praised RTE for responding to her non-appearance removing one of the doctors from the panel, which says it all in its own way.

    1. newsjustin

      RTE clearly had very fixed views about who they wanted debating for each side. But, in fairness to them, RTE knew a 2 against 1 TV debate wouldn’t fly and they were never gonna drop the Minister.

      If it was a big game of chicken, Sherlock should have been 60 seconds away in a car, ready to debate. It’s a missed opportunity. Only definite prolife voters (and only some of them) will have any interest in the “injustice” storyline. Most voters won’t even know she was missing from the debate.

  6. Diddles

    What’s up with yer one Fidelma Healy Eames? Is she playing the silly me card or is she just a bit….silly? Every time I’ve heard her speak over the years I’ve wondered how someone so uninformed and seemingly dim ever got elected.

    1. Cool_Hand_Lucan

      To paraphrase PT Barnum: “Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the Irish people.”

    2. Repro-choice Bertie

      Her true colours were on display last night. All talk about the possibility of a law catering for the hard cases but wouldn’t say that she’d vote for it, thus proving that her talk is pure distraction.

      1. Rich Uncle Skeleton

        I actually got a bit excited when I realised she was there and about to speak, in the same way I do when Chief Wiggum appears on screen.

        Love how she didn’t even answer the last question, just smiled that vacant smile in response.

    3. CoderNerd

      “I’ve wondered how someone so uninformed and seemingly dim ever got elected.”

      From wiki:
      Healy Eames was first elected to Galway County Council, and served there from 2004-2007.
      She was an unsuccessful candidate at the 2002, 2007, 2011, and 2016 general elections for the Galway West constituency.
      In the 2016 general election, she received 2.17% of the first preference vote, down from the 8.3% she had received in the 2011 election.

      She certainly can’t take a hint.

    4. ahjayzis

      I wonder why someone who is no longer elected, and is so incredibly fupping dense, still manages to get airtime.

  7. Willie Banjo

    Seems like dissension in the No camp to me. looks like the men in charge pulled Cora Sherlock and wanted to replace her with Maria steen who they judged to be a better performer. Cora obviosly (and ironically) had no choice in the matter.

    1. Frilly Waters

      there’s been dissension in the Nos since the referendum came into reality ffs

      Here’s what happened
      No way were Sherlock and Steen going to convince as a cohesive Vote No challenge to the well ahead Repeal side
      no matter who the latter put up

      Sherlock comes out of this really poorly
      can’t walk her talk
      and her LoveBoth is nothing more than a Pop-Up stall selling water damaged Christmas crackers
      same as McGuirk

      all on to their next gig now

      1. newsjustin

        It was never going to be Sherlock and Steen Frilly.

        As RTE made clear in their statement, they didn’t want Steen to appear in a second RTE TV interview. Diversity of voices, etc.

        (“Peter who? Never heard of him. No you can’t come in Ms Steen”)

        1. Frilly Waters

          RTE have stated that
          but I bet you a blow up doll
          that they weren’t the only ones objecting to Steen

          in fact I’d even go as far as to say some heads have rolled within the Pop-Ups over this

  8. ivan

    I suppose the really important question is that if Repeal win, who’s McGuirk gonna call the ‘psychotic bitch’ this time?

  9. Madamx

    The No side see they are losing the debate and there are so many competing views in their camp as to how to stop the rot. That’s the reason for the flip flopping. They are trying to put a brave face on it. Also they are worried about how all this negativity against them will affect the Popes visit..Many thinking devout people are being turned off from voting. That’s the current reality across the country

    1. SOQ

      If it does go through, the pope visits a very different country for sure and as Brexit proved, there is as much weight in dissuading certain demographics from voting as there is in mobilizing others.

  10. Iwerzon

    I thought RTÉ refused to engage with Steen because she was previously on Claire Byrne and is scheduled to appear on tonight’s TV3 debate which both broadcasters appeal to cooperate on.

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