Eighth Amendment chairperson dismisses suggestions pro-life voices not given fair hearing

Update 9pm: The chairperson of the Oireachtas Committee on the Eighth Amendment has rejected claims that she's treated pro-life members unfairly.

Senator Ronan Mullen and Deputy Mattie McGrath say they are actively considering whether there’s any point remaining on as members.

They are describing the process as a propaganda exercise in favour of abortion, and say pro life voices haven't had a fair hearing.

That's something being rejected by chairperson Senator Catherine Noone who said she had been imnpartial and nbalnced in time allocation.

"In many instances Sen Mullen and Dep McGrath have had more time than other members. So at all times I feel I have been very fair."

Update 5.30pm: Independent TD Mattie McGrath says the people he represents want him to stay on the Joint Oireachtas Committee on the Eighth Amendment to expose how one-sided the process is.

In a statement this afternoon, Mr McGrath and Senator Ronan Mullen said the committee's work has become "skewed in favour of abortion".

The two politicians also said they feel that they do not get enough time to examine speakers appearing before the committee.

"I'm on three other committees in the house," said Mr McGarth.

"Everybody is allowed speak, with the permission of the chair, and there is decorum - there's not decorum in here.

"When we speak, we're ridiculed, there are sneers and all kinds of undermining, and when we ask honest questions, in a very calm manner, questions that we've prepared for our witnesses...there's all kinds of gasps and wahoos.

"I've been called a liar by a committee member, but I didn't tell any lies whatsoever."

Pic @McConnellDaniel

Earlier: Independent TD Mattie McGrath and Senator Ronan Mullen have said they are "now actively considering" leaving the committee on the Eighth Amendment.

In a joint statement released this afternoon, Mr McGrath and Mr Mullen said they have "serious concerns about the one-sided nature of the process".

"We’re not directing our criticism at individual members of the Committee, but there’s no escaping that this process is entirely skewed and unfair," they said.

"Over 20 groups and individuals pushing for abortion have been invited before the Committee while only a handful of pro-life people have been invited."

They said in their statement that they had worked hard to "achieve fairness in what is sometimes a very unfriendly atmosphere".

They said: "Given the way things have developed, it is our honest view that the credibility of the Committee cannot be restored owing to how entirely slanted the process has become."

"We are now actively considering whether there’s any point in our remaining on as members. "


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