Updated: 23/05/18 : 09:29:03
Printable Version   Bookmark and Share Share This

national

'Love Both' claim RTÉ Referendum debate panel was 'utterly unacceptable'

Pro-life group Love Both have released a statement on their decision not to take part in last night's Prime Time debate on Friday's referendum.

Group spokesperson Cora Sherlock had been scheduled to take part in the live debate.

The statement released by Love Both said: "We felt RTÉ’s decision to invite a pro-repeal obstetrician on the panel and no medic from the pro-life side was utterly unacceptable.

"No serious effort was made by RTÉ to achieve balance on the panel. Given the seriousness of the referendum vote on Friday, we believed that they had to be called out on their slanted line-up.

"The public is entitled to a fair presentation of the issues before the referendum. RTÉ chose not to deliver that in their original panel line-up.

"Health Minister Simon Harris has said provision of unrestricted abortion in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy would be a GP led service.

"Hundreds of GPs have publicly criticised his proposal yet RTÉ throughout this entire debate has never held a single panel discussion featuring GPs from opposing sides.

"There is no excuse for this whatsoever."

RTÉ have responded saying that the debate was "fair and equitable".

It said: "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."

In a video statement this morning, Cora Sherlock thanked RTÉ for offering her a slot on the Prime Time panel.

"For the avoidance of doubt, I want to make it clear that at no stage did I pull out of this debate."