RTÉ's Eighth Amendment debate turned into chaos last night

RTÉ's Eighth Amendment debate turned into chaos last night

LAST NIGHT'S referendum debate on RTE turned out to be less of an informed debate and more of a shouting match with personal insults overriding any form of relevant discussion.

The Referendum Special on Claire Byrne Live aired last night with just over a week to go until the referendum day.

Many viewers tuned in to last night’s programme to view an informed discussion between members of both sides of the fence but instead witnessed the primetime show descend into chaos.

Campaigners from both the Yes campaign and No campaign appeared on the panel, alongside representatives from Together For Yes, Holles Street hospital and the Iona Institute.


Halfway through the show, the discussion was repeatedly interrupted by continued clapping and cheering from the audience.

The panel members began getting personal by trading insults.

Independent TD Mattie McGrath called Peter Boylan, chair of the Institute of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, a liar in his observations on the Savita Halappanavar case.

The show was trending on Twitter in Ireland overnight and continues to be sparking heated discussion this morning.

People Before Profit TD also called Brid Smith called Maria Steen of the Iona Institute a liar and refused to apologise. She had a crisis pregnancy which led to an abortion.

Maria Steen described the abortion Ms Smith had as the sort of “social abortion” she was warning would happen in Ireland if the Eighth Amendment was repealed.

Viewers felt that producers should have taken control of the audience, with many choosing to eventually turn the programme off, calling it “disrespectful” and “hurtful”.