Counterpoint: Brook Clinic and Charles Haughey

Counterpoint: Brook Clinic and Charles Haughey

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Havelock House




Transmission 10/03/1991


26min 42sec







Digitised as part of the UTV Archive Partnership Project (ITV, Northern Ireland Screen and PRONI)


Department for Communities, ITV, Public Record Office of Northern Ireland

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Kate Smith presents this episode concerning unplanned pregnancies, abortion, and a studio discussion on the Brook Family planning clinic in Northern Ireland.

A link is created between the rise in sexual imagery in the mainstream media and teenage pregnancy. This is followed by a young single parent who comments on the difficulty of a young pregnancy and the naivety which many teens have towards parenthood, stating that "you get yourself a fella, and get pregnant and think everything's going to be really sweet. But, it really isn't like that". 

Dr. Gabriel Scally (Director Public Health EHSSB) speaks about the rise in teenage pregnancy and how the women of Northern Ireland are travelling to Britain to obtain abortions. This has contributed to the feeling of astute need for a service such as the Brook Centre to be able to help in the prevention of pregnancies in the first place.  

However, adamantly against the Brook Family Planning Clinic are the churches with Rev. Patrick Walsh (Bishop of Down and Connor) opposed to it due to it not providing education in moral matters and Rev. Dr. Godfrey Brown believing that sexual relations are to used "within the frame work of personal relationships and ideally marriage".

When asking a group of students their thoughts on the Brook Clinic, there are mixed opinions which range from concern of it promoting sexual promiscuity, to it having a definite need. 

Rounding up the topic is Rita Brennan (Society for the Protection of Unborn Children/ SPUC) and Audrey Simpson (Family Planning Association) who have two conflicting opinions. 

The concluding subject in the programme is a news report about the financial scandal in Republic of Ireland with a call for Charles Haughey to resign. Comments are offered from Jim Tunney T.D. (Fianna Fail), Ned O’Keeffe T.D. (Fianna Fail), and Noel Dempsey T.D. (Fianna Fail)


A UTV Production.

Director: Alan Hailes

Producer: Tony Curry

Editor: Rob Morrison. 

Also Featured: Ald. Nigel Dodds (Lord Mayor), Wendy Thomas (Brook Clinic), Alison Hadley (Brook Clinic) and Kathleen McQuaid ( Society for the Protection of Unborn Children/ SPUC).



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