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Monday 17 December 2018

Socialist TD unfurls Repeal the Eighth poster in Dail

Ruth Coppinger was accused of orchestrating a political stunt during Leaders’ Questions.

A person passes a mural in Dublin’s Temple Bar calling for a repeal of the Eighth Amendment (Niall Carson/PA)
A person passes a mural in Dublin’s Temple Bar calling for a repeal of the Eighth Amendment (Niall Carson/PA)

By Lesley-Anne McKeown, Press Association

A controversial Repeal the Eighth poster has been unfurled in the Dail.

Socialist Party TD Ruth Coppinger ignored calls of “refrain” and held up an image of a mural recently removed from a Dublin arts centre.

Ms Coppinger told TDs: “We should not allow political censorship.”

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Dublin West by-election

The Repeal the Eighth mural, by the artist Maser, had been painted on a wall of the Project Arts Centre in Templebar. Following complaints, the charities regulator ordered that it be removed for breaching rules.

Speaking during Leaders’ Questions, Ms Coppinger said: “The irony is that there is a proliferation of ‘No’ posters which are offensive and upsetting, they demonise women and make them invisible, but they are also blatantly scientifically inaccurate.

“Nobody is advocating they be removed.

“But people are wondering why is it the most important thing to take down the Maser mural and leave this stuff up there unchallenged by the State?”

Political opponents heckled that the move was a political stunt.

Dail Speaker Pat “the Cope” Gallagher also reprimanded Ms Coppinger: “You can’t do that and you know it is wrong to do that.”

Irish citizens are being asked to vote on changes to Ireland’s strict abortion laws in a referendum next month.

Meanwhile, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said he believed the Maser mural may have become more popular as a result of being removed.

He said: “I don’t find the mural in any way offensive but I don’t think it is murals or posters that is going to change people’s minds on this issue.

“I think what we need is proper information, independent information like we are getting now from the referendum committee.”

Press Association

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