Senator Catherine Noone

  • For the second time this year, Claremorris native, Senator Catherine Noone is causing controversy with her tweets.

    The Senator who chaired the Oireachtas committee on the Eighth Amendment deleted a tweet last night that had stated that the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle, was pleased by the result of Ireland’s abortion referendum.

    According to today’s Irish Times, after meeting the duchess at the British ambassador’s residence in Dublin yesterday Senator Noone tweeted: “The Duchess and I had a chat about the recent referendum result — she watched with interest and was pleased to see the result.”

    However, she followed up with a second tweet that clarified: “I should say she seemed pleased — she was interested and very measured, not political at all.”

    The second tweet was also later deleted and a post shortly after 10.30pm last night accompanied by a photo just said: “A pleasure to meet Prince Harry & the Duchess of Sussex at the British Ambassador’s Residence this evening.

    Last Easter a tweet published by Senator Noone was dubbed as an attack on freedom of religious expression and ageist.

    In that tweet, later deleted by the Senator , she wrote: “Easter Mass in Knock Basilica this afternoon with my parents – an octogenarian priest took at least three opportunities to preach to us about abortion – it’s no wonder people feel disillusioned with the Catholic Church.” It led to an angry out pouring across social media at that time.

  • The Parish priest of Knock has defended an elderly member of the clergy after Claremorris native, Senator Catherine Noone described the elderly priest as an "octogenarian" on Twitter.

    According to today’s Irish Independent, Senator Noone, who is pro-repeal, was unhappy that abortion was brought up during Easter Mass celebrated in Knock.

    Senator Noone’s tweet, since deleted, read: "Easter Mass in Knock Basilica this afternoon with my parents - an octogenarian priest took at least three opportunities to preach to us about abortion. It's no wonder people feel disillusioned with the Catholic Church."

    In response  Fr Richard Gibbons,the Parish priest of Knock , told the Irish Independent that his colleagues were "inoffensive people". "We have a lot of chaplains working at the shrine, and quite a number of them are retired, but still say Mass.

    Fr Gibbons stated that it would not be unusual for the right to life to be brought up in a Catholic church. "[The clerics] here are very measured, intelligent men. They're guys who have a lot of experience under their belt," he said.

    Speaking to the Irish Independent, Senator Noone said she had been attempting to "paint a picture" by using the term "octogenarian" in her tweet.

    "I'm not ageist. Anyone who knows me knows I'm not ageist," she said.

    She added that the tweet was deleted because she did not need the negativity it sparked.