56,000 phone calls made to Fine Gael TDs


The Life Institute, an anti-abortion group, has said its supporters have made in the region of 56,000 phone calls to Fine Gael TDs since the summer with some getting 10 phone calls a day.

Life Institute spokeswoman Niamh Uí Bhriain was responding to an accusation from the Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL) that it was engaging in an “orchestrated campaign of intimidation” against Fine Gael TDs.

The ICCL has written to all Fine Gael TDs, including the Taoiseach, informing them they are being specifically targeted in a lobbying campaign by a “small web-based entity known as the Life Institute”.

The Life Institute is headed by Ms Uí Bhriain and is based in Capel Street in Dublin.

She said it was “extraordinary” that the ICCL was criticising her group contacting TDs when they were doing the same thing themselves. “I don’t see the point of their letter.”

She said the Life Institute had engaged the public in contacting their Fine Gael TDs since last summer and none of the numbers had been obtained surreptitiously.

“It is largely because the Life Institute and Youth Defence have gone to the effort of engaging with the public. We’ve urged them to make their views known to TDs,” she said.

The names and numbers of Fine Gael’s Dublin-based TDs were circulated in a recent leaflet by the Life Institute which was distributed before the recent Savita Halappanavar controversy.