Tag Archives: Pat Kenny



Michael O’Regan, veteran Parliamentary Correspondent of The Irish Times, adds gravitas to the rona debate.


Good times.


Earlier: Checkpoint Charlies

Mask Cheaters Cheat Us All

An hour?


Pat Kenny on his last Late Late Show

On The Late Late Show .

Gareth Naughton writes:

Fresh from their gold medal winning victories at the World Rowing Championships, Paul and Gary O’Donovan and Sanita Puspure will be chatting about their wins and how they are positioned for a dominant display in the Tokyo Olympics.

As broadcaster Pat Kenny celebrates being inducted into the IMRO Radio Awards Hall of Fame, he joins Ryan to chat about a career that spans five decades

After a year of wildly unpredictable weather, Met Éireann’s Joanna Donnelly will be in studio to chat about why our climate has changed so dramatically,

Nathan Carter will be giving a special performance of a Willie Nelson classic.

Plus music from Villagers….

*moves dial*

The Late Late Show tomorrow at 9.30pm.


From top: Dr Peter Boylan and Dr Meabh Ní Bhuinneain at Leinster House for the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution Committee meeting yesterday; Dr Boylan at Newstalk this morning

This morning.

On The Pat Kenny Show on Newstalk.

Dr Peter Boylan, chair of the Institute of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and former master of the National Maternity Hospital, was interviewed.

It followed a vote last night by the Oireachtas Committee on the 8th Amendment to remove the 8th amendment from the constitution.

It was the first vote taken by the committee – with 15 members voting Yes, three voting No and two members, Fianna Fail’s James Browne and Anne Rabbitte, abstaining.

Professor Boylan also addressed the committee yesterday evening.

Towards the end of the Newstalk interview, Mr Kenny read out some texts that came into the show.

‘A mother’s life is in danger: I was that mother, 27 years ago. At 24 weeks’ gestation, my blood pressure went through the roof. I had pre-eclampsia and toxaemia. My consultant contacted my husband and said he had to do a C-section and his exact words were ‘otherwise, we will lose your wife’. Unfortunately our little baby died.

Boylan: “Yes, and that’s exactly what happens. We would deliver a baby at 24 weeks and a full panoply of intensive care from the neonatal team would be instituted and I, all of us, practicing obstetricians, have experience with that sort of situation. That’s not a termination of pregnancy…”

Kenny: “Yeah, I was just going to say, that would actually be permitted, presumably, under the 8th amendment because there’s a distinct risk to the life of the mother and both will die, therefore, you make the choice to save one.”

Boylan: “But you’re also…no, not a choice to save one. You save the mother and, in the course of delivering a baby at 24 weeks, you make every effort to save that baby also and, nowadays, viability is regarded as 24 weeks in this country. So, that’s the situation.”

Kenny: “This one: ‘Peter Boylan is an ardent abortion campaigner. He fails to mention that the law in Ireland changed after Savita. The 2013 Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act gave absolute clarity to doctors that they can intervene to save the life of a pregnant woman, even at the cost of the life of the baby’.”

Boylan: “Well, the problem with the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act is that there’s no guidance as to how sick a woman has to be and also the woman doesn’t have any input into that decision. We discuss everything with her obviously but, it’s, she can’t say ‘look I’m worried that I’m going to die’ and we say, ‘no, actually, you’re not really at risk of death, yet. When you get to be at risk of death, then we will intervene.’ Now that’s a highly unsatisfactory way to practice medicine.”

Kenny: “The law says that you have to wait until, in your judgement, there is…”

Boylan: “And if we get the judgement wrong, either the mother dies or we’ve committed a criminal offence in this country. That’s unfortunately the reality.”

Kenny: “So not only do you want the 8th repealed but you also want the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act changed?”

Boylan: “Well, if proper legislation is introduced then the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act would be just part of that legislation and we would be able to intervene, continue to intervene, but also for other reasons as the Citizens’ Assembly suggested.”

Kenny: “‘Professor Boylan has no advantage. Everybody knows Savita died of septicaemia via E.coli. Can Mr Boylan explain in detail how an abortion would have saved her?'”

Boylan: “She did die of sepsis and there’s no question that there were deficiencies in her care, I’ve never denied that, I’ve never tried to say that was not the case. Of course she died of septicaemia, she wouldn’t have got septicaemia if her uterus was empty and any practicing doctor knows that and anybody who claims otherwise is really not telling the truth.”

Kenny: “This one, Martin. ‘The 2013 legislation dealt with the Savita-type cases already, nothing to do with the 8th amendment.'”

Boylan: “Well, I mean anybody who has, any doctor who has read her chart, myself and [Sabaratnam] Arulkumaran, an internationally respected expert, have come to a different conclusion and the conclusion is, if she had had a termination of pregnancy, we wouldn’t even know her name, we wouldn’t know anything about her, she would be down in Galway, probably with a young family.”

Kenny: “‘Ask the professor, does he accept the figure of 100,000 lives saved by the 8th amendment.'”

Boylan: “No, I don’t. If we didn’t have easy access to termination of pregnancy in the UK, we would probably have an awful lot of maternal deaths and we would not have had any saving of any lives, at all.”

Kenny: “The committee you said was attentive yesterday but we know there was at least, there was, there were three people who voted against but two people in particular have been outspoken in their unhappiness with the committee and that’s Senator Ronan Mullen and Mattie McGrath TD. Do you anticipate that this will become as divisive and bitter as some of the previous campaigns have been?”

Boylan: “I think as the tide turns and as people see the logic and the reasonableness of repealing the 8th amendment and introducing legislation in this country, I think it probably will get quite nasty.”

Listen back in full here [Part 1]

Previously: Illegal Abortion In Ireland


Dr Peter Boylan speaking to Pat Kenny on Newstalk this morning

Further to the resignation of Dr Peter Boylan, former Master of the National Maternity Hospital at Holles Street, from the hospital’s board.

Following more than a week of claims and counter-claims concerning the running of the proposed new National Maternity Hospital on the St Vincent’s site.

And the non-publication of any memorandum of understanding or articles of association between Holles Street and St Vincent’s.

Dr Boylan spoke at length to Pat Kenny, on Newstalk this morning.

During the interview, Dr Boylan said: “the devil of this is going to be in the detail. And the memorandums and articles of association have not been, the work has not even been proceeded yet..”

He also said he hopes “the public debate will persuade [the hospital’s shareholders/governors] that it’s a very fragile deal, flawed and, inevitably, I think will cause huge conflict in the running of the hospital”.

From the interview…

Pat Kenny: “First of all, by text on Sunday, from Rhona Mahony and from Nicky Kearns, you were asked to resign. Did that matter come up as an issue, as a motion at the board meeting last evening?”

Peter Boylan: “No, it didn’t. I don’t really want to say an awful lot more about the meeting last night because I gave an agreement that it would be confidential.”

Kenny: “Yeah. But it did come up? Like there was no great move to oust you or anything like that?”

Boylan: “Well, there was no motion put to the board that my resignation should be given.”

Kenny: “I presume you can tell us what is already in the public domain that there was a vote on the issue in question. Because we know that there is a majority on the board. How big a majority was it and how comfortable of a majority and how many dissident voices might there be?”

Boylan: “The vote was overwhelming.”

Kenny: “Overwhelming.”

Boylan: “In favour of the agreement.”

Kenny: “This leaves you, probably, a bit isolated because you had initially been a lone voice although the Lord Mayor of Dublin has added his voice. And there are two separate issues at the heart of this. One is the ethical issue which you have highlighted and then the second issue is the idea of handing over €300million of taxpayers’ money to a private entity. I’ve suggested already that, you know, they wouldn’t do it to Jimmy Sheehan from the Blackrock Clinic but they have decided to give it to St Vincent’s Healthcare because they want the synergies between the two hospitals. So, addressing both of those issues. One may have been resolved between the two boards that they think they can cobble together an agreement with all the safeguards that the minister thinks he will have in a month’s time. But the other one is a more general thing about what ministers do on our behalf with our money.”

Boylan: “Yes, you made reference there that I was a lone voice. That’s correct, more or less, on the board. But I’m not a lone voice in the community, outside, to which we have a great responsibility, to the women in particular. I’m also not a lone voice in the medical profession in that the previous master of the Coombe Hospital, Chris Fitzpatrick, and the previous master of the Rotunda, Sam Coulter-Smith. They’ve both voiced serious reservations about the governance proposed structures. So with regard to the agreement itself, there is a lot of issues with it. And the major ones are transfer of ownership of the National Maternity Hospital outright, 100% to the Religious Sisters of Charity on land that they own. The company that will run the hospital will be owned outright by the Sisters of Charity.”

Kenny: “Now, last time we spoke, you talked about the structure of the National Maternity Hospital. It’s national in name.”

Boylan: “That’s correct, yes.”

Kenny: “That’s a nice conceit to maintain, you know, but in fact it is not the centre, the national centre, like the national paediatric hospital at St. James’s will be the national centre of excellence, etc, etc, ..”

Boylan: “That’s correct.”

Kenny: “There’s excellence in all of the major maternity hospitals.”

Boylan: “That’s absolutely correct.”

Kenny: “But the structure is that there’s a board of governors who are the people in whom ownership is vested. Are they happy that their ownership is being transferred lock, stock and barrel to the St Vincent’s Healthcare Group?”

Boylan: “Well, they haven’t been asked.”

Kenny: “But how can that be legal? Unless they…”

Boylan: “I don’t know about the legality of it but there is no legal document in existence on which the governors, the owners, the shareholders of the National Maternity Hospital can vote. And the devil of this is going to be in the detail. And the memorandums and articles of association have not been, the work has not even been proceeded yet…”

Kenny: “So is it your understanding that they kind of maybe did a survey of the governors, checked them out and said, ‘will you be in favour of this thing?’. And they kind of gave them the nod. Because it is bizarre that any attempt to move ownership of a resource, whatever that might be, without the consent of the vested owners, would be bizarre?”

Boylan: “It would be bizarre and it is bizarre. I think, to be fair, that it’s likely that the governors would, the shareholders of Holles Street, probably would agree to the transfer because they would be convinced by the arguments. Now, hopefully, the public debate will persuade them that it’s a very fragile deal, flawed and, inevitably, I think will cause huge conflict in the running of the hospital. It’s been said that the nuns are not going to run the hospital, that’s absolutely correct. They’re not going to run the hospital and I have never suggested that they would run the hospital but they own the hospital, they own the company that runs it and they’ve undue representation on the board.”


Kenny: “So you’ve resigned with immediate effect.”

Boylan: “With immediate effect. I can’t remain a member of a board which is so blind to the consequences of its decision to transfer sole ownership of the hospital to the Religious Sisters of Charity and so deaf to the concerns of the public which it serves.”

Kenny: “You have reiterated in your letter of resignation a number of the issues that you’ve been talking about this past couple of weeks. Remind us of what they are.”

Boylan: “Well, as I said, the hospital will be on land owned by the Religious Sisters of Charity, it’ll be 100% owned by the Religious Sisters of Charity. The company tasked with running the hospital will be owned outright by the Sisters of Charity. And to believe that… any hospital that is built on land, owned by the Catholic Church, is obliged to follow Catholic teaching and canon law, medical practices and procedures. And that was clarified by Bishop Kevin Doran and also confirmed by Vincent Twomey last weekend.”

Kenny: “But didn’t one of your successors in the job of master, Declan Keane, I think, said he had performed, I think it was, a sterilisation in his private practice in St Vincent’s.”

Boylan: “No, he performed two, not in his private practice, but some women with very complicated pregnancies where the placenta, the afterbirth, is invading the uterus, will need to have a hysterectomy but sometimes you can preserve the uterus and in those circumstances the reasonable thing and what the women would wish, usually, is that they have a sterilisation…”

Kenny: “But if you could do that in St Vincent’s, does that not suggest that they…”

Boylan: “Well, he had to get permission to do that whereas…”

Kenny:He had to ask for permission?

Boylan: “Yes, as a matter of courtesy, from the clinical director of the hospital. So, in the National Maternity Hospital and in hospitals without religious influence, you just do it, it’s a matter between the patient and the doctor herself, as it should be.”

Listen back in full here

Yesterday: Where’s The Memorandum Of Understanding?

How Deal Leaves Doors Open For Church Control

Yesterday morning.

Pat Kenny, on Newstalk, interviewed  Sinn Féin TD Eoin O’Broin – during which they talked about the Universal Social Charge.

From their discussion…

Pat Kenny: “You’re saying that you want to keep that, you’re the working man’s friend. You want to keep that regime, where half of what you earn goes straight to the Revenue because you’ll never change the USC. Come on. That is not what ordinary people want? Ordinary, sorry. Ordinary, working people. People who don’t work, it doesn’t affect them one way or the other.”

Eoin Ó’Bróin: “Pat…”

Kenny: “But people who work…[inaudible] hours overtime and half of it goes to Michael Noonan – how fair is that?”

Ó’Bróin: “Well, first of all Pat, I would imagine that I spend a lot more time with ordinary, average income earners than you do but what’s also crucial is…”

Kenny: “Heyyyy…cheap shot, cheap shot, cheap shot, cheap shot.”

Ó’Bróin: “Pat…”

Kenny: “No, come on, all my colleagues in Newstalk, they’re not high earners. I work with them every single day of the week and I know their difficulties. I’m mature, I’ve earned a good living over many years. I started at the bottom, like everybody else and I’m looking at people who are working their way up from the bottom so don’t lecture me about the company that I keep.”

Listen back in full here


From top: Eoin Ó Broin and Pat Kenny

Another week.

Another foam-flecked Sinn Féin smackdown on the wireless as Newstalk‘s Pat Kenny and Eoin Ó Broin, Sinn Fein spokesman on housing, discuss scrapping water charges this morning.

Tay and a scone.

Pat Kenny: “Today in the Dáil, Sinn Féin will propose to scrap water charges for good. We know that it’ll that probably change absolutely nothing. The motion will likely be defeated because even though they say they’re in favour of scrapping water charges, Fianna Fáil will vote against the motion. What’s the point? A waste of time, or showing up Fianna Fáil’s confused stance on the issue? With me in studio is SF TD for Dublin Mid-west Eoin O’Broin, Eoin, good morning to you.”

Eoin Ó Broin: “Morning, Pat.”

Kenny: “Can I ask you about the chamber? When you got back did it look the same?”

Ó Broin: “There is a new e-voting system that for the first time officially allows TDs to abstain if that’s what they wish to do.”

(talk over each other)

Kenny: “And if someone is as láthair [toilet], then obviously there’s no vote as well.”

Ó Broin: “It’ll save an enormous amount of time, throughout this entire Dáil term we’ve had to do manual wal kthrough votes that take twenty minutes per vote, so if you’ve five or six votes on a Thursday, it’ll save time…”

Kenny: “It’s tedious.

Ó Broin: “Well, not tedious. It just wastes significant amounts of time, so that’ll speed that whole process up.”

Kenny: “And you’ve total confidence in the system, you won’t have deputies standing up and saying, I want to see the real thing?”

Ó Broin: “As you vote, you see your vote coming up on the screen, so if there’s any difference between how you vote and what comes up, you can easily have that rectified.”

Kenny: “You think all the deputies will go along with the new system and accept it. Now, it may come into play tomorrow, when you have a vote on your motion. Why are you doing this [introducing legislation to scrap water charges]? The Commission is going to talk about it, the majority are against the charges, what is there to vote over?”

Ó Broin: :”To flip that question over, if there are a majority of TDs that are against water charges, why waste everyone’s time and money on a so-called independent commission?”

Kenny: “The motion won’t do anything, it’ll just indicate intent on behalf of the Dáil, don’t you need to enact legislation to get rid of legislation that put it there in the first place?”

Ó Broin: “First of all, opposition parties propose motions all the time. The purpose of proposing motions is to challenge the government of the day. 300,000 people voted for Sinn Féin, one of the reasons they did so was to address this issue, so am I wasting time? Absolutely not, I’m fulfilling my democratic mandate.”

Kenny: “We’ve had water marches, we’ve had all sorts. It’s there, you don’t have to raise it.”

Ó Broin: “One of the reasons why Fianna Fáil shifted its position again from suspension to outright abolition, is due to pressure placed on them by Right2Water, the demos, Sinn Féin. So these things are very, very important, and not a waste of time. But the question is, if Fianna Fáil are for abolition, why would they not support the motion? The purpose of this motion is to put pressure on the government, pass the motion and get it into legislation. But if they want the charge scrapped, they should do what we’re doing and put the pressure on the government to bring forward this legislation.”

Kenny: “I know you’ve sought legal advice (and other ministers) have sought advice as well, the legal advice is conflicting. Those against water charges seem to find experts who agree with them and those who are for seem to find experts who agree with them, that you cannot remove it because the protocol has been established by FF originally. So that’s what the commission is going to look at, what needs repair, how much it’s going to cost, blah, blah, blah. They’re going to come out with a finding. Why would you pre-empt that finding, because if you bring in legislation against water charges, and the EU insists on them staying, the legislation is invalid?|

Ó Broin: “Those who say the Water Framework Directive requires water charges haven’t read it or taken time to understand it. And Lynn Boylan [Sinn Féin MEP] has sought legal advice on this issue. It’s about a series of environmental framework objectives, so long as you are meeting those objectives, water charges are irrelevant.”

Kenny: “Why am I getting all this wrong, then? Europe has been telling us we had water charges, we had it in place and we had reached the point of no return.”

Ó Broin: “That’s not what the EC was saying for two years. For two years, MEP were sending questions along the lines of “does Ireland have access to the water derogation”? And what they were saying in writing, up to a few months ago, was they cannot answer that question until they see the River Basin Management Plan, submitted next year, which shows how government will meet the environmental objectives. What then happened was, despite this stated position and the correct one by reading the directive, was they came back and said you cannot reverse water charges. As long as you show through your plan and your actions how you intend to meet these objectives, we believe we can. The thing about legal advice, even though we have complete faith in the advice commissioned by Sinn Féin, is it can be a matter of opinion.

Kenny: “Exactly why they’re called opinions.”

Ó Broin: “Ultimately the decision of a government, and the EC objected, they’d have to take it to court, and the interesting thing there is the Commission took the German government to court recently because they were of the view that the German government weren’t charging enough for certain types of water usage. The Commission lost because the German government proved they were meeting those objectives.”

(talk over each other)

Kenny: “This is all politically very convenient. But, if you can leave your tap on all night under Sinn Féin, that, patently, is daft.”

Ó Broin: “In any conversation, we have to have it based on facts.”

Kenny: “No, no, no, answer that question, if I decide to leave that tap on, water my garden all summer, I can do so with impunity under your protocol.”

Ó Broin: “If you talk to Irish Water, household water usage is below EU average. We’re not wasting water.”

Kenny: “Stop giving me that nonsense! Answer the question. Why is it socially responsible to turn on the tap, and never turn it off, and not pay? Simple question, give me a simple answer, if you can.”

Ó Broin: “If you don’t mind my saying, it’s a ridiculous question.”

Kenny: “Why?”

Ó Broin: “People don’t do that.”

Kenny: “In the Winter, people are afraid of frost, because they haven’t lagged their attic, they turn on the taps, to keep the pipes from freezing, it’s irresponsible. Under your regime, it would cost nothing.”

Ó Broin: “You say it’s irresponsible for people to keep their pipes from freezing?”

Kenny: “Ah, come on! Don’t be facile, don’t be facile! The point is under your regime, you could turn on the tap, all day, all night and pay absolutely nothing.”

Ó Broin: “Under our regime, the problems of wastage would be addressed and fixed, and households educated on waste water, but if you look at the statistics, you’ll see we are under the average. 50% of wastage is lost in a decrepit infrastructure that is the responsibility of the government. If our priority is to reduce waste, where are we going to start?”

Kenny: “Are you going to answer the question, are you going to answer the question about the irresponsible householder?”

Ó Broin: “What’s irresponsible is the government that won’t invest in tackling the 50% of water wastage in the distribution system.”

Kenny: “Where’s the money going to come from?”

Ó Broin: “General taxation.”

Kenny: Let me put this point to you, your support, your votes, come from lower socioeconomic backgrounds, out of work, can’t find work, and therefore pay no tax. So what you’re doing is shifting the burden onto the so-called ‘squeezed middle’, because people who pay no tax have no fear of general taxation.

Ó Broin: “A bizarre way of looking at it, Pat. In my constituency, one in four voters voted for me. That means that people on no incomes, low incomes and middle incomes voted for SF.”

Kenny: “Do you not say your support comes from those areas?”

Ó Broin: “It comes from working people and unemployed people. All of these people pay tax. They pay income tax, they pay VAT. Now, what is the best and most and reassured way of paying for infrastructure over the next ten years? Through a cross-party commitment in our opinion, on investing from general taxation. You wouldn’t have to raise levels of taxation, Pat.”

Kenny: “Sorry, sorry… You’re paying for something that is gonna cost 400 million a year. And you don’t have to raise taxes, where are you going to find this money? Hah?”

Ó Broin: “We don’t have to raise taxes because according to the Government’s own estimations on fiscal growth, the money will be there. It is the best way to do it, Pat, to upgrade the system, and to ensure that we have a water and sanitation system fit for purpose.”

Kenny: “You do describe yourselves as a socialist party, there’s no other socialist party in Europe that doesn’t agree with water charges.”

Ó Broin: “That’s not the case.”

Kenny: “Go on, which ones?”

Ó Broin: “There are several. In Scotland, there aren’t domestic water charges…”

Kenny: “There are.”

Ó Broin: “There aren’t domestic water charges…”

Kenny: “Rates.”

Ó Broin: “…or metered household charges. That’s a separate issue, that’s a form of local taxation.”

More to folly.

Listen here

Previously: “What Time’s The Bias Due?’


Dr Martin McCaffrey, a Professor of Pediatrics at University of North Carolina and a neonatologist


On The Pat Kenny Show on Newstalk.

Mr Kenny interviewed an American doctor called Martin McCaffrey.

At the outset of the programme, as Mr Kenny outlined who he would be speaking to on his show, he mentioned that he would be speaking to “The US doctor who wants us to change our treatment of babies with inevitably chromosome disorders”.

Then, just before the interview took place – in the second part of the show – Mr Kenny introduced the doctor by saying this:

“A professor of neonatal perinatal medicine is urging medical professions and politicians here to reconsider how we treat babies with chromosomal abnormalities. Dr Martin McCaffrey is a neonatologist visiting from the University of North Carolina to address Stormont about the issue and he’s with us in studio. Dr Martin McCaffrey you’re welcome to the programme.”

During the interview…

Pat Kenny: “What kind of outcomes? If a baby is diagnosed with these conditions in the womb, is termination often the outcome?”

Martin McCaffrey: “Correct, so what has been seen is that if you have a pre-natal diagnosis,  before birth diagnosis, and if you have a post-natal diagnosis, the children who are diagnosed pre-natally are often given a message from providers, for a variety of reasons I believe, that is fairly hopeless and fairly dismal and many of those pregnancies will end in termination. Some will not, but many will. After birth, if a baby is undiagnosed but not diagnosed until after the delivery what will happen is that five or six or seven days of age a baby is diagnosed. A baby has already had resuscitation procedures, support procedures initiated. So that diagnosis may be given, it is still a challenging diagnosis for families. But families have seen that their child is actually alive and living and actually that is the case with most of these children when they’re born. They do not die at birth and they will survive, we know now, for fairly significant periods.”


McCaffrey: “I think, typically now, for a variety of reasons, Pat, I was trained and until 2009, I will mark that as my epiphany, I was trained that these children didn’t survive and they all died. In 2009, I went to a meeting where I met a number of parents of these children, I didn’t realise any of them survived. And it was news to me and I started looking at the literature and the literature is clear over the years that maybe as many as 20 or 30% of these children, or 40%, survive to a year.

That 20/30% can survive to five years. And I was absolutely puzzled by this. That this was not how I was trained. I think for a variety of reasons we, as medical providers across the board have been a little bit reluctant to accept that these children can live. Not because they can’t live physiologically but because they have severe developmental handicaps and I think it’s really more of an issue of us not being willing to embrace the vulnerability and the opportunity, the virtue of dependence, that really exists with these children. We all, Pat, are going to leave this life at some point. We are all lethal, we are all temporarily abled and, at some point, we are all going to leave, and I think these children, if we would open up our eyes as providers, we would be able to find the love to support them, it would build a community that would flourish.”

Further to this…

Máire writes:

“Yesterday Newstalk’s Pat Kenny interviewed an American doctor [Dr Martin McCaffrey] on the subject of chronosomal disorders, particularly 13 and 18. To listen to him, you would think that trisomies were nothing to be worrying about, instead of extreme life-limiting conditions.”

It turns out this doctor is a pro-life lobbyist with a Catholic group called Be Not Afraid. This affiliation was not made clear in the broadcast. The doctor was merely introduced as neonatologist, Martin McCaffrey – no mention of his pro-life affiliation whatsoever. The doctor was presented as a neutral authority on the matter.”

“This broadcast was brought to my attention by someone listening to the show who lost her 9-week-old baby daughter to Trisomy 18 and was extremely upset by this.”

Listen back to the interview in full here


‘Thank you for getting in touch with Newstalk. We greatly value you as a listener to The Pat Kenny show.

I would like to assure you that we have given your complaint much consideration.
We feature items involving the pro – life and pro – choice positions regularly. We do not necessarily feature both sides on the same day.

Dr McCafferty made it clear that he was taking part in the programme in his capacity as a neonatologist, and Clinical Professor in Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine at University of North Carolina Chapel Hill and as a board member of the International Trisomy Alliance.

In the course of the interview Pat did suggest that Dr McCaffery’s position was merely delaying the inevitable and went so far as to say that his position was “ putting parents through ten years of heart break and suffering”

Pat also challenged Dr McCaffery on weather his personal opinion is informing his medical opinion.Pat read many texts throughout the programme putting the pro – choice position to the audience.

Again we greatly appreciate you getting in touch with the programme and we hope that you continue to listen to Newstalk.’

Email from  The Pat Kenny Show to a Newstalk listening ‘sheet reader this afternoon.