Facebook claim of Kilkenny abortion clinic is ‘fake news’

Obstetrician says claim St Luke’s Hospital to open abortion clinic ‘absolute nonsense’

A professor of obstetrics and gynaecology has described as “fake news” claims that St Luke’s Hospital in Kilkenny is planning to convert part of its premises into an abortion clinic.

Speaking on local radio station KCLR on The Way It Is show, Prof Ray O’Sullivan said the claim on social media was “absolute nonsense of the highest order.”

He told of how a member of his staff informed him of the claim on Facebook over the weekend. When he went online he saw the claim to which he commented pointing out that it was inaccurate.

“My comment became the lynchpin with people then saying I was a Yes guy. People latched on to that rather than knocking this stupid story on the head.


“On the airwaves it’s difficult to contain myself and the language I should be using to describe somebody who came up with a story like this.

“People seem to actually believe it which I found absolutely incredulous that they would actually believe this. I want to reassure people that this is not the case.

"Should the Eighth Amendment be repealed, which I anticipate it will, this won't be the case any way. Abortion clinics will not be springing up around the country. There will be no need for that.

“There won’t be abortion clinics like this. That’s crazy stuff. That’s crazy talk.

“The difficulty is there’s going to be so much mistruths, half truths about this, scaremongering on both sides of the debate.

“People will be trying to get the votes for Repeal or for the amendment to remain. So we’re going to hear all sorts of stories.”

Prof O’Sullivan welcomed the move by Facebook to stop adverts funded outside Ireland. The fact that people would create fake news was an example of the depths and lengths to which people will go, he said.

Coverage should be balanced and factual.

“This notion that we’ve opened up a ward at St Luke’s or any hospital for this purpose is just not true. The vast majority of any such care in the future will be done on an outpatient basis.”