O’Connell’s criticism of former Taoiseach baseless – Sherlock


The Pro Life Campaign has said “there’s a role for a full-time fact checker just to keep on top of Kate O’Connell’s fact free interventions in the abortion debate.”

The PLC was responding to the Fine Gael TD’s remarks where she criticised the former leader of her party John Bruton over his defence of the Eighth Amendment and accused him of making a “sweeping statement not supported by fact.”

The former Taoiseach said that the express recognition of the right to life in our Constitution is something we should be proud of as a country. He also referenced the possibility that unborn babies in the later stages of pregnancy could feel pain and that if repeal of the Eighth Amendment happened the Dáil would be able to arbitrarily take away all meaningful protections from unborn babies.

Commenting on Deputy O’Connell’s criticism of the former Taoiseach, Cora Sherlock of the Pro Life Campaign said: “It’s ironic that Kate O’Connell should accuse former Taoiseach of getting his facts wrong. There was nothing inaccurate in what he said. Ms O’Connell herself however is very prone to making inaccurate statements in this debate.

Ms Sherlock continued: “There’s a role for a full-time fact checker just to keep on top of Kate O’Connell’s fact-free interventions in this debate. During the recent Oireachtas hearings, she repeatedly took issue with one of her colleagues for correctly stating that an unborn baby’s heartbeat starts at just 3 weeks. Deputy O’Connell kept arguing that a baby’s heart starts beating at 7 weeks which is entirely inaccurate. She also used dehumanising language by describing it a ‘pulsating tube’ rather than a heart.

“At the same committee hearings, she disputed the fact that in countries where abortion is legal, babies are routinely born alive after botched abortions. It’s a documented and widely publicised fact that these appalling things happen even though Deputy O’Connell refuses to acknowledge it.

“There’s no end to the examples one could cite including Deputy O’Connell’s wildly inaccurate presentation of abortion rates in Europe and where Ireland fits in. Suffice to say, she’s not in a very strong position when it comes to the whole fact checking thing and in taking issue with the former Taoiseach, she further highlights this.”