People Before Profit/Solidarity TD Ruth Coppinger has sharply criticised the removal of a mural by the artist Maser in support of repealing the Eighth Amendment from Dublin's Project Arts Centre.

The mural was removed following communication from the Charities Regulator that the mural "constituted a political advertisement".

Ms Coppinger said Ireland had an "inglorious record of censorship". 

"A piece of art was removed from an arts building, in 2018 in a ruling more reminiscent of the Committee of Evil Literature of the 1920s," Ms Coppinger said.

She also said the CEO of the Charities Regulator had a "long connection with the Catholic Church" and called on Taoiseach Leo Varadkar to investigate the issue.

The Taoiseach said he had no doubt that the regulator would have taken the same approach had it been an anti-abortion or pro-life mural.

"While you can paint over a mural, you can't over an issue," Mr Varadkar said, adding that the people were being given an opportunity to stop turning a blind eye to the reality of abortion in Ireland. 

He also said more people would have seen the mural because it had been removed.

The Deputy Ceann Comhairle intervened to admonish Ms Coppinger for holding up an image of the mural, which he said was in breach of the rules of the Dáil. 

The Tanáiste interjected from the floor to tell Deputy Coppinger that "stupid stunts like this do nothing to inform anybody," he said. 


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Labour may pursue people who remove party's referendum posters

Meanwhile, Labour leader Brendan Howlin has said his party is considering asking gardaí to press charges against those who have taken down their posters for the upcoming Eighth Amendment referendum.

Party colleague Jan O'Sullivan has said she has been sent a video showing two men taking down posters in Limerick. She also said that she has attained a car registration number and has provided these details to gardaí.

Mr Howlin said the taking down of Labour posters should be considered as theft as the posters belong to the party.

He also noted that several posters have been put up that do not identify who has paid for them, which he says is an offence under the law.

Mr Howlin also said the referendum is not done and dusted and in previous referendums on social issues the result has tightened.

Elsewhere, the Love Both Campaign, which is calling for the amendment to be retained, has said many of its posters calling for a no vote have been taken down.

Caroline Simons, who is legal consultant for the campaign, said 40% of its posters are gone.

Meanwhile, Fianna Fáil Waterford TD Mary Butler has said she would speak to other party members who are campaigning for a No vote in the referendum about considering organising a press event.

She said she would be actively canvassing for a No vote in the referendum. She also said she had noticed that many Yes posters do not use the word abortion.

Limerick TD Willie O'Dea said he will not be campaigning in the referendum and many households in Limerick have notes on their doors asking people not to canvass their houses in the referendum.