Tag Archives: Catherine Noone

This afternoon.


For a party headquarters to effectively tell the media, as they have in this case, that they consider one of their own candidates too incompetent to face a media interview is, and there’s no other word for it, astonishing.

It’s not surprising that they would have conducted a preparatory mock interview with her, nor that they would have decided that in the circumstances, putting her on air was not a good decision.

But in this case, somebody has actively decided to inform a reporter that they’re hiding their own candidate from the press because they do not trust her. That’s a level of viciousness that’s extraordinary, especially given that it is towards one of their own.

And it’s not the first time, either. Or the second. In recent years Fine Gael has displayed more brutality and vindictiveness towards its own members than it ever has towards its political opponents.

…If you come across a young person who’s thinking of joining Fine Gael, give them one piece of advice: Don’t ever make a mistake. Because Fine Gael won’t just try to ruin your life – they’ll actively seem to enjoy doing it.

Fine Gael tears one of its own to pieces. Again. (John McGuirk, Gript)

Earlier: Noone Gets Out Of Here Alive

Yesterday evening (5.30pm).

Senator Catherine Noone’s campaign headquarters in Sutton, Dublin 13.

Last Friday, Ms Noone described Taoiseach Leo Varadkar as “autistic” while she was being questioned by Times Ireland journalist Brian Mahon about his performance on the Virgin Media One head-to-head debate with Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin.

Via Christian Morris


Last night.

Fiach Kelly, in The Irish Times, reported that Fine Gael had decided to “pause”  the constituency voting tactic between Minister for Communications Richard Bruton and Ms Noone, who is his running mate.

However, Mr Bruton, on Virgin Media One’s The Tonight Show subsequently said this was not the case.

(Mick Caul is a campaign volunteer for the Social Democrats)

Mr Kelly then reported that Fine Gael did a U-turn….

…with Mr Bruton even claiming suggestions of a pause in the divide were a “fabrication”. Sources afterwards said the publication of an Irish Times report had caused internal controversy and prompted the U-turn.

The earlier decision came after a series of meetings between Ms Noone and senior party figures, such as Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe who is Fine Gael’s director of elections, and Tom Curran, the general secretary.

Ms Noone is understood to have asked she be given the opportunity to explain herself in a broadcast media interview.

It is understood Mr Donohoe and Mr Curran decided against putting Ms Noone out on the national airwaves.

Fine Gael performs U-turn on Catherine Noone’s voting pact (Fiach Kelly, The Irish Times)

Previously: Not Literally [Updated]

Top pic: Padraig O’Reilly


News editor at the Times Ireland edition Ben Haugh, who clarified the conversation with Fine Gael Senator Catherine Noone – in which she referred to Taoiseach Leo Varadkar as “autistic” – before going to print, just spoke to Seán O’Rourke on RTÉ Radio One about the article.

He explained that Ms Noone knew she was being recorded when she made the comments to reporter Brian Mahon while he was walking with her between houses during a canvass last Friday.

Mr Haugh said Mr Mahon was upfront with Ms Noone that he was recording the conversation and was using a dictaphone app on his iPhone in order to quote Ms Noone accurately.


Fiona Ferris, deputy head of AsIAm, an autism charity and advocacy group, told Mr O’Rourke that the charity will not be accepting Ms Noone’s apology.

Asked what more Ms Noone can do or say, in light of the group’s refusal of her apology, Ms Ferris said:

“I would say that what she needs to do is take action based on what she said and the inaccuracy of it and you know, she should be trying to take the steps to educate herself about what autism is. But I would also be encouraging people who have candidates who come to their doors to be asking about, you know, what is in their manifesto to contribute towards further support and further understanding of autism.”

Listen back in full here


From top: Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Senator Catherine Noone; statement from Ms Noone this morning

This morning.

In The Times Ireland edition.

Ben Haugh and Brian Mahon report that Fine Gael senator Catherine Noone described Taoiseach Leo Varadkar as “autistic” while she was being asked about his performance on the Virgin Media One head-to-head debate with Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin last week.

Ms Noone has since apologised and withdrawn her comments (see statement above).

They report:

Ms Noone described Mr Varadkar as a “very good politician” but accepted that he was “a bit wooden” and was making efforts to improve.

“He’s autistic like, he’s on the spectrum, there’s no doubt about it. He’s uncomfortable socially and he doesn’t always get the inbetween bits,” she added.

She said the Fine Gael leader was “extremely bright” and a “very decent guy”.

They added:

…When contacted by The Times for clarification yesterday, Ms Noone initially denied that she used the word “autistic”. When informed that the reporter had a recording, she said she did not mean the word literally.

….Ms Noone then attempted to give examples of potentially offensive words that could be used out of context, such as “special” and “n***er”. She quickly clarified that she would never use the N word, and said that it was a bad example.

Good times.

Election 2020: Varadkar ‘autistic’, said his senator Catherine Noone (Ben Haugh and Brian Mahon, The Times Ireland edition)

Statement pic via Gavan Reilly


This morning.

Portly pro-life Independent TD Mattie McGrath improvises on the plinth ahead of a series of votes this afternoon by the Oireachtas committee on the Eighth Amendment.

The committee, whose chairwoman is Fine Gael pro-choice Senator Catherine Noone (top), is expected to recommend repealing and not replacing the Eighth Amendment.


Politicians slam TD Mattie McGrath’s bizarre ‘fat lady’ comments about Senator Noone (Independent.ie)



This afternoon.

People Before Profit TDs Bríd Smith (left) and Ruth Coppinger holding Abortion pills during a press conference on the plinth before the Eighth Committee votes.


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.


Read in full: Heated exchange between Rónán Mullen and Catherine Noone overheard in Oirechtas ladies’ lavatory (Ellen Coyne, The Times Ireland edition)

Yesterday: ‘Are These Ill-Informed Myths?’


Conor McGregor (top) and Catherine Noone TD

[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.

Ultimate FIGHT!

Senator wants to ban Conor McGregor’s ‘vile’ UFC fight from Dublin (Robin Schiller, Independent.ie)

(Eamonn Farrell/Photocall Ireland)

An earlier version of this post used an image of Senator Michelle Mulherin. Sorry.

Screen Shot 2014-06-17 at 02.54.56 Senator Catherine Noone and Taoiseach Enda Kenny

Sir, – Further to Una Mullally’s article (“Getting hot under the collar about ice cream vans”, Opinion & Analysis, June 16th) regarding my recent comments in the Seanad, I feel the need to set the record straight.

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.

Yours, etc,

Seantor Catherine Noone

Leinster House,

Kildare Street,

Dublin 2

Tackling childhood obesity (Letters, Irish Times)

Pic: Catherine Noone (flickr)

Previously: Sundae Bloody Sundae

Raise The Price of The Morning-After Pill, You Say?


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.

She said:

“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.”

How long? How long must we sing this song?

Fine Gael Senator Catherine Noone: Ice-cream van chimes are an “aggressive form of selling” (Sarah Bardon, Irish Mirror)

Previously: Raise The Price of The Morning-After Pill, You Say?

We’re blaming fornication.

[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”.

Seanad Report (Jimmy Walshe, Irish Times)

Previously: Michelle Mulherin: She So Forni

Thanks Lars Biscuit