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Man who ran HSE copycat website claims it helped 'save five or six women and babies from abortion'

Eamonn Murphy was ordered to stop operating a site under a name similar to the HSE’s ‘My Options’ service.

Eamonn Murphy
Eamonn Murphy
Image: Daragh Brophy/TheJournal.ie

A MAN ORDERED last month to cease running a website operating under a similar name to the HSE’s official crisis pregnancy ‘My Options’ service has said a similar High Court order should be applied to the HSE. 

Eamonn Murphy, with an address at Finglas Road Dublin 11, told the court he registered the domain name www.myoptions.website on 8 December.

The court heard last month that his unregulated crisis pregnancy agency has been in operation in Ireland for more than 20 years under different names.

Murphy’s website, which has been taken down since his last appearance in court, offered counselling and ultrasounds to women. It was only registered after the Minister for Health announced the name of the HSE’s official crisis pregnancy service www.myoptions.ie.

He claimed today that five or six women and babies were “saved from abortion” while he was running the site with the My Options phrase, and that his organisation’s work was now being hampered by the court’s order. 

The High Court heard last month that “legitimate confusion” had emerged among women seeking to avail of the HSE service as a result of the name of Murphy’s website and he was ordered to take steps to desist from using the name on any crisis pregnancy websites he operated. 

Addressing the court this morning Murphy said he had sought to secure legal advice since his last appearance but that he had not been successful as he could find “no one willing to take on the HSE”. 

The court was told by counsel for the HSE, Jonathan Newman SC, that Murphy had told him a similar order should be applied to the HSE My Options site.  

No formal application 

Justice Leonie Reynolds said that Murphy had made no such formal application and adjourned proceedings for a break as she read a file handed in from Murphy.

Returning to the matter later in the morning, the judge reiterated that no formal application from Murphy was before the court. In respect of his submission, she observed he may have lost sight of the main issue before the court. 

She acknowledged that Murphy’s website had been taken down since the case was last before the court on 15 February. 

Going over the motion, she reminded him that the court had ordered Murphy to desist from operating the website, adding that he was continuing to run his crisis pregnancy agency and “it’s not like you have been prohibited from operating”. 

Murphy claimed that his organisation had been stopped from operating as it wished, telling the court that “approximately five or six women and babies were saved from abortion” while he was running the site with the My Options phrase. 

He had earlier insisted that the HSE service should be taken down from the internet as the information on the site was putting women at risk. 

Murphy attempted to raise claims relating to women’s health on several occasions, but was told that it was not within the court’s realm to deal with that the matters he was raising in today’s hearing. 

He was also told by the judge that she would not be able to accept a further thick file of documents he wished to hand into the court today. 

Petition

Justice Reynolds asked Murphy if he was still seeking to secure legal advice on what actions were now available to him, and he said he was.

After some debate between the parties before the court the judge adjourned the matter until 4 April next and said the existing order would remain in effect until then. 

Earlier in the proceedings, the judge asked Murphy if he was aware of a petition that had been handed into the court relating to his website in recent days. 

Murphy said he had no knowledge of the individual who organised the petition and that it was not done on his request or with his knowledge. The judge said she accepted his word.

She said it was inappropriate for the person, who she named, to contact the court in such a manner and that it would be wholly inappropriate for the court to deal with the petition. 

There was no response where she asked if the person was present in court this morning. 

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