Second TV debate on Eighth Amendment takes place on Tuesday
Programme to follow style of a leaders debate after criticism of ‘Claire Byrne Show’
Cora Sherlock, spokeswoman for the LoveBoth campaign, will be debating the Eighth Amendment on RTÉ One’s ‘Prime Time’ on Tuesday. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
The second televised debate on the Eighth Amendment will take place on Tuesday on RTÉ One’s Prime Time.
The programme will include advocates on both sides arguing for and against a repeal of Article 40.3.3 of the Constitution.
Minister for Health Simon Harris and Prof Mary Higgins, who advocate a Yes vote, will debate Sinn Féin TD Peadar Tóibín and spokeswoman for the LoveBoth campaign Cora Sherlock, who are calling for a No vote.
The debate will last one hour and there will be a live studio audience of 90 people. Both sides of the campaign chose 45 people each to participate in the debate.
RTÉ sources said this would be a different format from the Claire Byrne Show, which came in for significant criticism from politicians favouring a Yes vote.
It will follow the style of a leaders debate, where each will make their opening pitch and answer questions from members of the audience.
It is understood there will also be audience participating and pre-recorded films from both sides setting out their arguments.
The first debate took place last week on RTÉ and resulted in numerous complaints from members of the public and indeed politicians.
The Minister for Health said the discussion developed into a football match with jeering, whooping, hollering, laughing and sniggering.
He called on both sides to make sure the discussion on Tuesday’s show is respectful and “more matching” to the sensitivities of the subject.