Independent Senator Rónán Mullen has claimed that Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly "misled" the public last year when he gave a commitment to hold an open tender process for appointing an independent chairperson for the three-year review of the 2018 abortion legislation.

The Senator said what actually happened - established by TD Michael Collins via parliamentary question - was that the Department approached "a small number of candidates, identified as having suitable experience, were contacted and invited to apply for the role of independent Chair."

He added that Minister Donnelly must: "... now account to the Oireachtas for the discrepancy between his statements and his actions. We need to know whether, at the time of claiming that a request for tender had taken place, the minister knew that had not happened and that it was not going to happen."

Mr Mullen also called on the minister to honour his original commitment to tender openly.