The Pro Life Campaign has said it was “astonishing” to see the Chief Executive of the tax-funded Irish Family Planning Association, Niall Behan, back campaigning for abortion on Friday after the scandal his organisation was involved in a few years back over coaching women to lie to their doctors and say they had a miscarriage, not an abortion, if complications arose following an abortion.

At the time, the then-Master of Dublin’s Rotunda hospital described the practices in question at the IFPA as “life endangering” to women.

On Friday last, the Chief Executive of the IFPA had an article printed in his name in a national newspaper on the current abortion debate.

Commenting on Mr Behan’s latest intervention in the debate, Cora Sherlock of the Pro Life Campaign said: “It would be one thing if Mr Behan returned to the debate after issuing a detailed public statement accepting that the counselling practices exposed at his organisation were wholly inappropriate and dangerous and assuring the public that decisive steps have been taken to ensure nothing like that would ever happen again.

“Instead, the IFPA buried its head in the sand and went into full denial mode, dismissing what came to light as ‘politically motivated rubbish’.

Ms Sherlock said: “The IFPA obviously takes the attitude that nothing inappropriate by a pro-choice group, not even something reckless and life-endangering, is ever going to receive meaningful scrutiny or criticism in the media. They may well be correct on that point but it still doesn’t excuse the horrific practices that were unearthed about the IFPA a few years back, putting both the lives of women and their unborn babies at serious risk.”