Donegal reporter examines Ireland’s abortion laws in RTÉ Investigates tonight

By Louise Doyle

DONEGAL investigative reporter for RTÉ Aoife Hegarty examines the realities of Ireland’s current abortion services and gaps in the system of care which continue to impact women in a documentary to air tonight.

For seven months, RTÉ Investigates reporter, Kilcar woman, Aoife Hegarty  has been examining Ireland’s abortion services.
Tonight’s revealing RTÉ One documentary, ‘RTÉ Investigates: Ireland’s Abortion Services’ at 9.35pm on RTÉ One and RTÉ Player, goes undercover exposing some counselling services misleading women about what they offer in this unregulated sector.


On May 25, 2018, the people of Ireland voted decisively to repeal the Eighth Amendment, 35 years after it was inserted into the Constitution. Over two million people turned out to vote in Ireland’s referendum which was 64.1 per cent of the electorate. By a 2:1 majority, 1,429,981 people, or 66.4 per cent, voted Yes and 733,632 people, or 33.6 per cent, voted No.

Donegal returned a No vote in the referendum to repeal the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution, returning a 51.87 per cent No against a 48.13 per cent Yes. It was the only constituency in the country to vote No, and was also one of the last to declare a result.

Aoife Hegarty, whose RTÉ Investigates documentary on Ireland’s abortion laws airs tonight.

Five years on from the referendum to repeal the Eighth amendment and the introduction of legislation, RTÉ Investigates looks at the realities of Ireland’s current abortion services and gaps in the system of care which continue to impact women.

Abortion services are now available in Ireland, but many are still forced to travel abroad.

In  February 2022, unable to access the procedure in Ireland, Alison travelled to Liverpool for a termination following the detection of foetal anomalies at her 20-week scan and she was advised of a really low life expectancy by a cardiologist.

“You almost feel like you are leaving with your hoods up in the dark of night”, she told the RTÉ Investigates documentary, sharing her heartbreaking story.


This documentary is not about looking at the rights or wrongs of abortion but rather examines the Government commissioned review of Ireland’s abortion legislation published early last year.

The Termination of Pregnancy Act had provided for such a review three years after its implementation. The landmark report made a number of recommendations for amendments to the law.

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