RTÉ issue statement on Cora Sherlock's absence from Prime Time debate 3 years ago

RTÉ issue statement on Cora Sherlock's absence from Prime Time debate

The debate went ahead with just Simon Harris and Peadar Tóibín.

RTÉ's plans for a Prime Time debate on Friday's referendum were scuppered when Cora Sherlock, a spokesperson for the Love Both campaign, withdrew from the debate at short notice.

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Obstetrician Mary Higgins had been scheduled to take part in the debate, speaking on behalf of the Yes side, but RTÉ instead chose to proceed with Minister for Health Simon Harris and Sinn Féin TD Peadar Tóibín. Higgins participated from the audience.

RTÉ has released a statement on Cora Sherlock's unexpected absence from the debate.

"RTÉ was disappointed to learn that Cora Sherlock was unavailable to take part in tonight's RTÉ Prime Time programme, despite confirming her participation last week. The television debate on the referendum continued with the panel of Minister for Health Simon Harris and Peadar Tóibín TD, in addition to substantial contributions from the audience, which gave an equitable and fair opportunity to both sides to express their views."

It is believed that the Love Both campaign put Maria Steen forward to take Sherlock's place, but RTÉ refused as Steen participated in last week's debate on Claire Byrne Live, and had been scheduled to appear on tonight's debate on TV3. Steen has since pulled out of tonight's debate.

Sherlock released a statement through her brother Leo's website The Liberal, saying "At no stage did I pull out of this debate. There's been a lot of noise today, but please don't worry about headlines."