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Cora Sherlock at the count centre in the RDS, Dublin. Aoife Barry
Prime Time

Cora Sherlock says she didn't agree with pro-life campaign decision to remove her from RTÉ debate

There had been rumours of in-fighting within the campaign.

PRO-LIFE CAMPAIGNER Cora Sherlock has confirmed that the decision to remove her from this week’s RTÉ debate was made by the pro-life campaign and was not something she agreed with.

Sherlock had been billed to debate with Simon Harris earlier this week but RTÉ announced at the last moment that she would not appear.

There had been rumours of in-fighting within the campaign and Sherlock briefly addressed the issue today at the count centre in the RDS, Dublin.

She said that the decision to remove her from the debate was made by the pro-life campaign and it was something she did not agree with.

In the aftermath of her withdrawal from the debate, the campaigner posted a video saying she did not pull out.

In the video she says:  “I wish to speak to the pro-life movement in Ireland. Firstly, I’d like to thank RTÉ for offering me a place on their debate this evening, Peadar Toibín is one on the most honourable and gifted politicians we have, and I know he’s doing a fantastic job defending the Eighth Amendment.

“For the avoidance of doubt I want to make it clear that 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.”

Speaking at the count centre in the RDS this morning, where it is expected that the Yes side is to score an overwhelming victory, Sherlock said that she accepts the will of the people but that it’s a very “sad day” for Ireland.

She said: “I’m disappointed and I feel it’s a sad day – a devastating day for us. The 8th has done a fantastic job protecting mothers.”

Dr Peter Boylan, chair of the Institute of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and the former Master of Holles Street, told reporters in the RDS that he is “very happy” with the exit polls. He described Ireland today as a more modern, European country.

“It’s a happy day for women and that’s what this is all about,” he told’s Aoife Barry.

Boylan was a central figure in the Yes campaign, taking part in television and radio debates. Asked about how he was treated because of his decision to advocate for a Yes vote, he singled out the Claire Byrne Live programme on 14 May.

“I do [feel vindicated] but I have to say it’s not about doctors, this is about women. If you start playing the man, rather than the ball, you’re losing. If the abuse to me helped the campaign to say ‘Yes’, then that’s fine, I’ve no problem at all with that. I’ve experienced that sort of thing before. That happens – that’s the rough and tumble for this type of debate.

“I was unprepared for what happened on Claire Byrne, I’ve never experienced that amount of vitriol – it was quite astonishing. But as I say, if it helped the Yes campaign, great. You know, bring it on.”

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