Mary Lou McDonald's criticism of the Iona Institute is being widely shared and praised
"The Iona Institute is tone deaf to women."
Following the historic yes vote in the referendum on the Eighth Amendment, Claire Byrne was joined on her show by Minister for Health, Simon Harris, to reflect on the campaign and talk about the passage of the proposed legislation to regulate abortion in Ireland.
Minister Harris was joined in studio by Sinn Fein President Mary Lou McDonald, co-director of the Together For Yes campaign Ailbhe Smith, Director of the Iona Institute David Quinn, and journalists Larissa Nolan, Fintan O’Toole, and Alison O’Connor.
As many of you will know, the Iona Institute was an extremely prominent supporter of the No vote during the referendum campaign. Maria Steen and David Quinn were arguably the most vocal members of the socially conservative institute.
Despite accepting and acknowledging defeat, the think-tank recently released a statement which read: "We must continue to advocate for the right to life of the unborn as the pro-life movement has done, and is doing, in other countries. We must learn from them to be patient, confident that at some point in the future the law will once again protect the unborn members of the human family. We owe our unborn fellow human beings nothing less.”
During the campaign, plenty of people were heavily critical of the rhetoric, approach and the amount of airtime that the Iona Institute had received. On this note, Mary Lou McDonald used yesterday's TV appearance to voice her own opinion and concerns.
She said: "If you don't mind me saying, my impression of your institute is that you're peculiarly tone deaf to women. And that's ok if you wish to be tone deaf to women. What you're not entitled to do is to impose what you regard as the right values and to insist. These are very Catholic values, they're theologically grounded and driven."
During the 50-second segment below, Mr Quinn tries to interrupt the Sinn Féin politician on eight separate occasions.
Mary Lou McDonald: Iona Institute is tone deaf to women pic.twitter.com/OP7xUwieJ4
— RTÉ ClaireByrneLive (@ClaireByrneLive) May 28, 2018
Since she made these remarks, plenty of people were quick to praise her definitive and clear stance with regards to the Iona Institute.
Mary Lou is right in what she said. Iona, this right wing fringe group, do not have a mandate from the people of Ireland.
— Eugene Jack Dunne (@Jackd200) May 28, 2018
— Daithi K. (@tvcritics) May 28, 2018
"Your institute seems to be peculiarly tone deaf". Is Mary Lou McDonald the first party leader to be so blunt about Iona? #CBLive
— Chris McCormack (@ChrisMacCormack) May 28, 2018
OMG Mary Lou DRAGGING the Iona institute I’m thriving #CBLive
— barb3 (@barb3o3) May 28, 2018
— Leah (@GreenNotCabbage) May 28, 2018