On August 23rd the Irish Times reported that an abortion had taken place in the National Maternity Hospital in Dublin’s Holles Street.
In a bizarre twist in the story and despite the fact that the hospital did not deny the story at the time, the Irish Times has contradicted its original report, which claimed that Twins had been aborted in the National Maternity hospital under the new legislation.
Dr Peter Boylan, Clinical Director at the National Maternity Hospital, in a radio interview on the day while expressing his anger that patient details ended up ‘splashed on newspapers’ did not appear to dispute the content of the report. Dr Boylan however said during the interview that he would begin investigating the source of the leak immediately. See report in the Journal
The Irish Times following a statement by the Department of Health and Children was first forced to concede that the legislation has not yet come into effect and on Saturday August 31st printed a complete retraction saying that "the case described in the article did not happen".
Without altering the original caption for the story, 'First abortion carried out under new legislation', the Irish Times wrote:
"On August 23rd, the HSE confirmed that the Protection of Life during Pregnancy Act, signed into law by the President on July 30th, 2013, had not yet commenced.On August 31st, The Irish Times published the following correction: "On August 23rd last, under a story headlined 'First abortion carried out under new legislation', we reported on a purported clinical case at the National Maternity Hospital. The hospital has pointed out that the case described in the article did not happen. The Irish Times accepts this and apologises unreservedly to the hospital for any distress caused.The National Maternity Hospital has welcomed the correction and apology, accepts that the article was published by The Irish Times in good faith, believes the matter is now concluded and wishes to make no further comment."
The Independent has now weighed in on the story and have castigated the Irish times for the inadequacy of its apology which it claims does not meet with the requirements of the code of practice.
This sorry saga raises many serious questions and the entire episode must be properly investigated