Senior gynaecologist Dr. Aoife Mullally has been appointed as the HSE’s clinical lead for abortion services in Ireland, having previously acted as Lead Consultant in the labour ward of the Coombe Hospital.

Dr. Mullally, whose sister Una Mullally is a prominent journalist in the Irish Times, will begin her senior managerial role on 6 January. Minister Simon Harris said Mullally’s appointment was a “significant step” towards embedding and evolving abortion provision in Ireland.

“Throughout 2020, we want to expand the service further and I will work with Dr Mullally, the HSE and the HSE Board to ensure we continue to evolve this vital service in our health service.”

“When we started this service, we had fewer than 170 GPs but this has doubled to over 340. All our maternity hospitals are providing termination of pregnancy care. Ten are providing the full range of services,” Harris said.

The role will involve attempting to recruit more GPs and staff within maternity units to provide abortions. Many abortion advocates have expressed frustration that 86% of GPs have declined to provide abortion pills, despite being offered approximately €450 per abortion by the HSE.