Belfast Telegraph

Derry Girls Jamie-Lee promotes pro-choice charities 'because it's right thing to do' - and slams payment claims

Jamie-Lee O’Donnell
Jamie-Lee O’Donnell

By Michael Sheils McNamee

Derry Girls actor Jamie-Lee O'Donnell has hit back at an accusation she has been paid to promote pro-choice charities.

The actor, who plays Michelle on the hit Channel 4 comedy, was responding to a claim by a pro-life group based in Belfast.

In an article posted to their own website, Precious Life claimed "O'Donnell is being paid to advocate for the killing of millions of Irish babies".

Responding to the claim on Twitter, Jamie-Lee O'Donnell wrote: "Just to be clear, I am not, nor have I ever been paid by any charities to promote the pro choice movement.. I do it because its right! #TheNorthIsNext".

Since the referendum in May in the Republic on legalising abortion, the #TheNorthIsNext has been used by pro-choice advocates to call for abortion to be legalised in Northern Ireland.

Describing Ms O'Donnell as "an incredibly vocal abortion advocate", the Precious Life article makes reference to a production entitled 'I Told My Mum I Was Going On An RE Trip' which she featured in during 2017 with Liverpool-based theatre company 20 Stories High.

The play dealt with the theme of teenage abortion, and was later adapted for television by the BBC.

"She is yet another so-called 'celebrity' to buy into the pro-abortion propaganda," the article says.

"Real feminists honour the bodies of women and the bodies of the female babies in the womb. Real celebrities use their fame for the good of everyone rather than promoting the mass killing of the most innocent and defenceless in our society."

Fellow Derry Girls actress Nicola Coughlan, who plays Clare on the show, has also hit out at the accusation in the article, retweeting a link to it and writing: "Claiming @JamieLeeOD is being paid by Pro Choice charities is an outright lie, as you well know."

The cast of the hit comedy Derry Girls
The cast of the hit comedy Derry Girls
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 20th April 2018 - Jamie-Lee O'Donnell at the 2018 Spirit of Northern Ireland Awards Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Jamie-Lee O’Donnell
Star Jamie-Lee O’Donnell from TV hit Derry Girls
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 20th April 2018 - Marc Mallett and Jamie-Lee O'Donnell at the 2018 Spirit of Northern Ireland Awards Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

Adding an excerpt of the text in a follow-up tweet, she writes: "This article is such a nasty attempt to bully a for a woman expressing her views, but even without that, the below highlighted statement is a complete lie."

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