Senator Rónán Mullen has called on the Irish Independent to apologise to members of the pro-life movement in Limerick for a report it ran last week on the baseless claim that hospital staff were leaking information to pro-life supporters about the times and dates that abortions are happening at University Hospital Limerick.
In the piece written by journalist Ellen Coyne, quotes were attributed to pro-life volunteer Antoinette Fitzgibbon that she never gave to the newspaper. The report also failed to include one of Ms Fitzgibbon’s actual quotes where she made clear that she was not privy to any information about the days and times that abortions took place at the hospital.
By selectively editing and omitting key quotes from Ms Fitzgibbon, the Irish independent piece unfairly created the impression that members of the pro-life movement in Limerick were being evasive about the reason why some of the peaceful prayer gatherings outside the hospital happened to occur on the same day that abortions were being performed.
In the Seanad on Wednesday, Senator Mullen complimented Gript Media for releasing the recording of the interview between Ellen Coyne and Antoinette Fitzgibbon that they obtained. The recording raises very serious issues about Ms Coyne’s subsequent reporting on the conversation.
Senator Mullen has called on the Irish Independent to apologise to Ms Fitzgibbon for the way she was misrepresented and to make additional corrections to the piece that appears online. The Pro Life Campaign has written to the editor of the Irish Independent documenting the unfairness of the report and seeking answers on what he proposes doing to rectify the situation. Pro-life supporters should also consider contacting the paper on the matter.
There’s another issue worth focussing on with regard to Ms Coyne’s report. She seemed certain in her piece that abortions take place at the hospital on Wednesdays. Who provided her with this information? Is her knowing the times and dates when abortions happen not an example of the precise breach that was unfairly levelled against pro-life supporters without any evidence or proof whatsoever?
The Irish independent and Ms Coyne have a lot of explaining to do.
Watch Senator Rónán Mullen’s contribution in the Seanad here