Monday 26 September 2016

Uproar as Senator Jim Walsh tells colleague to seek 'treatment for hemorrhoids' in abortion-related debate on Seanad floor

David Kearns

Published 10/12/2015 | 19:32

Senator Jim Walsh calling for Pro-Life believers to stop paying their RTÉ license fee Credit: Newsworthy (YouTube)
Senator Jim Walsh calling for Pro-Life believers to stop paying their RTÉ license fee Credit: Newsworthy (YouTube)

FORMER Fianna Fáil Senator Jim Walsh caused uproar in the Seanad Éireann after telling a colleague she should seek “treatment for hemorrhoids” during a heated discussion on RTÉ’s coverage of the abortion debate.

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Following an exchange between Senators Rónán Mullen and David Norris, Mr Walsh rose to say he had a point of order before adding: “Can somebody please give Senator Bacik some treatment for haemorrhoids.”

The remark was met with an angry reaction from the chamber with Mr Norris attempting to have Cathaoirleach Paddy Burke rebuke the comment.

Mr Walsh’s ‘point of order’ came after Mr Mullen accused Labour senators of “being hypocritical” for seeking to have religion removed from State-funded schools but not demanding there be balanced debate on RTE.

“If you only object to bias when it upsets yourselves and your point of you, then you’re no real democrat,” said the senator

“You go on like harpies every time somebody calls for simple fairness.”

Read More: Senator Jim Walsh admits editing his own Wikipedia page after it ‘was changed by person from gay lobby groups’

This sparked a shouting match across the senate floor as Mr Norris objected to the use of the term “harpies” while Senator Ivana Bacik said Mr Mullen was trying to “stop the debate”.

The heated exchange comes after the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland upheld a complaint of ‘breached the rules for fairness, impartiality and objectivity’ against the Ray Darcy Show.

A listener accused the host of bias following an interview with Colm O'Gorman, head of Amnesty International in Ireland, were access to abortion was mentioned.

Speaking in the Seanad, Mr Walsh made reference to the "abortion holocaust" which he claimed was being supported by RTÉ and other international bodies like “the United Nations, Amnesty and Irish Council For Civil Liberties”.

“[These] organisations, who receive millions of foreign monies, actually spend their energies promoting the breach of the most fundamental human right of all, which is the right to life.”

Adding: “Certainly it would not be my intention that the pro-abortion, pro-killing of unborn babies policy which is endemic in RTÉ would be allowed to continue.

“The cynicism and cold blooded intent of killing unborn babies was chilling (and) not good enough for a national broadcaster".

“I would asked those of a pro-life position to perhaps get together and refuse to pay our licence fee.”

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