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Tuesday 31 January 2023 Dublin: 7°C
# The High Table Interview
7 things we learned from our VERY revealing interview with Ronan Mullen
The independent senator talked same-sex marriage, adoption and being approached by Fine Gael in an interview with

RONAN MULLEN IS no stranger to controversy but he remains unwavering in his views on social issues.

As one of the few outspoken social conservative politicians currently in the Dáil or Seanad, the Galway-based senator will be a prominent voice in the forthcoming referendum on same-sex marriage.

mullen gif

In a wide-ranging interview with in our offices yesterday, we learned lots more about his views on same-sex marriage, adoption and the media in a revealing and fascinating interview…

1. The referendum will redefine marriage

Mullen thinks that the referendum will redefine marriage and take away a child’s right to have a mother and father. He told us:

Central to redefining marriage in the way the government has proposed is that you’re also redefining the family based on marriage.

Video: Nicky Ryan /

2. He reckons he’s more in favour of equality than the Yes side

“I’m more in favour of equality than they are,” he claimed, before explaining his views of equality:

Equality doesn’t apply in every situation. Equality has to be understood in terms of what things actually mean. Okay, so, being strongly in favour of equality not only allows you, but requires you, to treat different situations differently. What marriage is about is the state supporting the particular relationship between men and women because that provides the context that people want that works best for the bringing up of children

The full discussion is well worth a watch:

Video: Nicky Ryan /

As you’ll see from the video, he also spoke briefly about ‘thruples‘:

3. Same-sex couples can adopt… but only in exceptional circumstances

Mullen is opposing the Children and Family Relationships Bill which is currently going through the Seanad, but he explained there are circumstances where gay couples can adopt but says they are not in the “tier one category”.

“I’d be very clear, when it comes to adoption decisions there should be a clearly expressed presumption in law that core to a child’s best interests are the ability to give him or her a father and mother.”

He says none of those campaigning for a Yes in the referendum will acknowledge that “all things being equal” it would be better if a child had a father and a mother.

Video: Nicky Ryan /

4. He’s not a fan of assisted human reproduction 

Mullen has an issue with the Children and Family Relationships bill recognising donor assisted human reproduction.

“This legislation is providing that if you were brought into the world by a donor sperm, the government’s idea of your human rights is that you will find out that your father some day was ‘Hans from Denmark’. But you won’t be allowed find out until you’re 18 and only if you go looking or if your parents, at some point, decide to tell you.”

Video: Nicky Ryan /

5. He thinks groupthink on social issues is ‘crazy’

Mullen is often described as a single-issue position, who is only vocal on issues like abortion and family values. There’s a reason why he speaks up on these issues:

I was brought up to think very independently, to question consensus, to be my own person, to try and work things through, to try and be honest about what I believe is good and not so good for society. I am not interested in being in politics if I can’t be outspoken on those issues

Mullen also insists: “I do get busy on other issues.”

Video: Nicky Ryan /

6. He has a problem with the media, but it’s not a conspiracy…

Mullen had plenty of criticism for the media and particularly certain radio stations. We put it to him that he was suggesting there is some sort of vast liberal conspiracy.

He insisted this was not what he was saying, arguing it was about “the herd mentality”:

Video / YouTube

And yes, he did say we could call him a bollocks*:

7. He nearly joined Fine Gael in 2009

Mullen hasn’t decided if he’ll run in the general election next year. He has “great respect” for Lucinda Creighton but hasn’t been approached by Renua Ireland.

However, the Galway politician did reveal an approach from Fine Gael ahead of the European elections in 2009:

Video / YouTube

*we didn’t

Watch: Ronan Mullen reckons most politicians will vote NO in the same-sex marriage referendum

Read: Broadcasters told to “focus on the issues” in marriage debate

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