Friday 25 January 2008

Castlebar radio host supports rogue agencies

In December of last year, Choice Ireland sent out a press release announcing our most recent protest against the rogue crisis pregnancy agency at 50 Upper Dorset Street in Dublin.

The Castlebar Community Radio host John Murphy replied to our press release describing our campaign as a "sinister and disgusting attack on counselling agencies who counsell [sic] in the saving of lives (mother and child)."

Mr Murphy subsequently refused a Choice Ireland spokesperson's offer to debate him on the issue on his radio programme, on the supposed grounds that the spokesperson was an "accessory to murder" and that the matter is therefore "sub-judice". Choice Ireland has copies of these emails, both of which were sent on a CRC FM email account.

Rural women are among those particularly affected by the taboo on abortion in this country. Castlebar is situated thirty minutes from Knock Airport where, over the past forty years, several thousand women have boarded flights to England for abortions. They have done so in silence and secrecy, their often-traumatic journey compounded by returning to the slander of "murderer" by people like Mr Murphy. It seems that he would wish to increase their psychological distress even further by subjecting them to the lies and manipulation of the so-called counselling agencies.

John Murphy's refusal to publicise the Choice Ireland statement or to allow an on-air debate on the issue belies the claim of his station to be community radio. A true community institution serves the entire population of its area. Women who have considered abortion in a crisis pregnancy situation represent a significant proportion of any community - more, undoubtedly, than Mr Murphy realises.

They deserve to have issues of concern to them acknowledged and discussed in an open, mature and realistic fashion - not hushed-up and censored because they challenge the narrow conservative views of their local radio talk show host.

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