Credit: D Storan /

Another one: Chair of Irish Abortion Review supported repeal

It’s been discovered that yet another person tasked with reviewing Ireland’s abortion laws – this time the chair of the process – was an outspoken supporter of repeal during 2018.

According to Irish Legal News, “Marie O’Shea BL has been appointed to lead the second phase of the independent review of Ireland’s abortion laws.”

Health minister Stephen Donnelly said of her appointment: “I am pleased to announce that Marie O’Shea will carry out this review. Her significant legal expertise, coupled with her experience in project management and in healthcare sector research, I am confident that she will conduct this important work thoroughly and efficiently.”

However, Gript has been made aware of tweets from 2018, the year of the 8th Amendment referendum, where O’Shea appears to express pro-repeal, pro-choice beliefs.

On May 21st 2018, mere days before the referendum, cartoonist Eoin Kelleher posted a cartoon and tweet claiming that the 8th Amendment “impacts on our ability to provide safe healthcare for women.” The tweet included the hashtags #Together4Yes and #CartoonsForYes – advocating for a yes vote.

This tweet was subsequently retweeted by O’Shea.

Later, in response to a 2018 article in which the Pope criticised the practice of abortion, O’Shea replied “No one has the right to judge unless they’ve walked a mile in the person’s shoes.”

Asked for comment on the matter, Aontú leader Peadar Toibín said: “The Government has appointed an official to Chair the Abortion Review who was an active supporter of the repeal of the human right to life.

“So from the outset there is no pretense of balance in this review. This fits the trend in the government approach. The Citizen Assembly and the Committee on the 8th were stacked to favour the deletion of Human Rights. That there is no effort even to pretend by the government shows where the establishment parties are on Abortion. It also points to a preordained outcome of the abortion review.”

Toibín continued: “In the three years since abortion on demand was legalized, 20,000 children have been aborted. Thats equivalent over 700 classrooms full of children whose lives have been ended by the state in 3 years. Its enormity is shocking and horrific. In each case the world has come to an end for an individual living human being. Its so cruel.

“My thoughts go to baby Christopher in the National Maternity Hospital illegally. Yet no one has been brought to justice and this is happening to other healthy babies across the country.

“This Abortion Review process has been biased and secretive from the outset. Human rights campaigners and TDs have been kept in the dark, and those medical and legal professionals who would challenge the inhumanity of abortion excluded. We should be very fearful what this review recommends, which so many politicians will be only too eager to enact.”

Previously, Gript revealed that research which will inform the review is being led by a campaigner for Repeal of the 8th amendment.


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