Saturday 21 September 2019

'It’s an absolute slapdash load of falsehood' - TD slams MEP candidate's anti-abortion message in campaign leaflets

Noel Rock. Photo: Tom Burke
Noel Rock. Photo: Tom Burke

Mícheál Ó Scannáil

Fine Gael TD Noel Rock has denounced the anti-abortion "nonsense" in MEP candidate Eamonn Murphy’s campaign leaflets.

Mr Murphy’s literature falsely claims that breast cancer is far more prolific in women who have received an abortion and claims that their risk of suicide increases by 700pc.

Speaking about the MEP for Dublin’s campaign literature, Noel Rock said that he has received many complaints and that the information on fliers has long been debunked.

"I have received a lot of complaints about it," he told Independent.ie.

"A lot of constituents are very upset about it. I’ve never got so many complaints about someone else’s campaign literature before. Fair enough there is such a thing as freedom of speech.

"Of course, there is but it’s not a freedom to spread scientific untruths.

"Who’s going to counter that? When you have every other serious candidate talking about the job at hand, and complaining about tissues to do with Europe, no one is going to spend their time campaigning to push back against falsehoods perpetuated by a fringe candidate."

Mr Rock, said that the pro-life campaigner’s literature is an attempt at scaremongering and that the information present is false. It brings about questions, the Fine Gael TD says, about the potential need for the review of the state-funded leaflets before their distribution.

"To be honest I thought it was fear mongering. It’s shameful stuff. It’s completely debunked. It’s nonsense and that’s fear mongering," he said.

"That factually disprovable stuff shouldn’t be allowed in taxpayer-funded campaign literature because ultimately he’s a European candidate so this is paid to be posted to houses. I think he’s a fringe candidate. I’d be surprised if he gets 1pc of the vote.

"It’s an absolute slapdash load of falsehood and their all myths and they’re all debunked. They’re absolute nonsense. It doesn’t seem to me that he’s interested in winning.

"Considering the job at hand, he doesn’t really mention anything to do with the job he’s running for. It does beg the question; does this kind of stuff need to be reviewed before it’s distributed."

Earlier in the year, Mr Murphy received a temporary injunction, prohibiting him from using a website the HSE claimed was misleading.

His website, www.myoptions.website, offers "counselling and ultrasounds" to women who have "experienced crisis pregnancies" and was registered after the introduction of the HSE service www.myoptions.ie, for unplanned pregnancies. 

The email address, ultrasound24365@gmail.com under the name "MyChoices Helping Women", was attached to the website and is still in use by Mr Murphy.

The injunction is in place until the matter can be settled in court when Mr Murphy as had time to acquire legal representation.

When contacted about the Fine Gael TD’s criticism of his literature, Mr Murphy replied that his response to the criticism can be found on his YouTube channel.

Online Editors

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Also in this section