WATCH: Ruth Coppinger criticised in Dáil after revealing Repeal mural poster during speech
"This country has an inglorious record of censorship, both artistic and political."
Ruth Coppinger TD received a scolding after unfurling a poster of a Repeal the 8th mural during Leaders' Questions on Monday.
The Solidarity-People Before Profit TD produced the poster version of the artist Maser's work, as did her colleague Paul Murphy, as an act of protest against what she called artistic censorship.
The removal of the mural on Monday marked the second time it was removed from the front wall of the Project Arts Centre in Temple Bar after the centre received notice from the Charities Regulator that it was against regulations.
"That it was done under threat of loss of funding from a state body on the grounds that it was political is cause for concern," the TD said.
"This country has an inglorious record of censorship, both artistic and political, and this parliament should be clear: a piece of art was removed from an arts building in 2018, in a ruling more reminiscent of the Committee of Evil Literature of the 1920s."
Later, Coppinger went on to recall the time when six Solidarity TDs wore Repeal jumpers in the Dáil, saying "and in jig time a committee ruled out the wearing of any political slogans".
"I would like to know what the Taoiseach thinks is so offensive about this, that it should be banned by a state body," she said as both herself and Murphy revealed their posters.
Clip via Solidarity - The Left Alternative
Reprimanded and told to "refrain" from the "deliberate act" by Leas Ceann Comhairle Pat 'The Cope' Gallagher, he went on to tell the TD: "You’ve asked me to ensure that I implement the Standing Orders. I also ask you and your group to do the same."
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar addressed Coppinger's act, saying: "I’ve no doubt that the mural will appear elsewhere, perhaps somebody who owns a private building may wish to make space available for the mural to be reinstated.
"While you can paint over a mural, you certainly can’t paint over an issue and the issue is that nine women every day are forced to travel overseas in order to end their pregnancies and three women every day - and it’s only going to rise into the future - are importing abortion pills and are taking them without medical supervision and guidance, often in their own homes."
— vickey curtis (@raginspice) April 23, 2018
In a statement published by the Project Arts Centre, they stated that the art piece had to come down due it being in breach of the Charities Act 2009.
"The Charities Regulator has informed Project Arts Centre that the display of Maser’s ‘Repeal the 8th’ artwork is ‘political activity’ and that we are therefore in breach of the Charities Act 2009 and not in line with our ‘charitable purpose’," the statement read.
"Should the artwork not be removed, we risk losing our charitable status. Project Arts Centre respects the authority of the Charities Regulator and will comply with their order to remove Maser’s artwork."
The referendum to decide whether or not to repeal the Eighth Amendment has been set for Friday, 25 May.