'A feminist hero!' So Simon Harris is seriously lit on the Prime Time debate 1 year ago

'A feminist hero!' So Simon Harris is seriously lit on the Prime Time debate

Last week, Claire Byrne Live was certainly a contentious show.

Indeed, it sparked significant debate in the aftermath - with many viewers at home left furious at the disordered clapping and cheering that took place throughout.

Thankfully, on Tuesday evening the Prime Time special was somewhat more restrained.

Still, the show was initially marked by the 11th-hour withdrawal of 'No' side advocate and Love Both campaigner, solicitor Cora Sherlock.

Her absence meant that for balance of discussion, Prof Mary Higgins, a consultant obstetrician on the Together For Yes side, agreed to also remove herself from the debate.

That left Minister for Health, Simon Harris, and Sinn Fein's Peadar Tóibín to thrash it out.

And over on Twitter, Simon Harris fast won praise for his calm and authoritative argument.

Viewers were quick to call him "very impressive"; "clear and concise"; "absolutely brilliant," and even "the feminist hero we never saw coming".

Hear, hear!

Meanwhile, in studio Arlette Lyons, the co-founder of Terminations For Medical Reasons and a woman who has spoken publicly about her own abortion - which she had six years ago - even began her argument with strong words of praise for Mr Harris.

"Thank you to Simon Harris on behalf of all of us at TFMR - he's the first Minister for Health and the first politician who has actually listened to us and educated himself and grown throughout the years."

She added: "And we're so appreciative of you bringing this to the forefront because it's so important for the women and the couples of Ireland."

In conclusion, Simon himself wrapped up with: "If you believe that it's wrong that every day nine women - and they're not faceless women, they could be our mother, our wives, our sisters, our nieces, our neighbours, our work colleagues - if you believe it's wrong that they have to travel, you need to repeal the 8th amendment.

"This is a once-in-a-generational opportunity... let's not squander it."

On Friday, Ireland will get voting - with poling suggesting that the result will be a close one.