Recording information about those using the hospital would also be prohibited.

A motion was backed on Monday which would mandate the introduction of exclusion zones outside clinics providing termination services, following a number of anti-abortion demonstrations which have taken place since the start of the year.

Louth County Council backed a proposal – presented by Fianna Fáil councillor Emma Coffey – which would see protests or demonstrations, termed 'prohibited behaviour' within 500m of any facility providing abortion services banned. 

The bylaw would also prohibit the likes of public meetings, processions, engaging in threatening conduct or repeatedly observing the health care facility's grounds.

Now, the county council's chief executive is to seek legal opinion on whether or not the local authority has the power to set out the own so-called 'safe zones'.

Local election candidate for the Social Democrats, Evie Nevin, is also calling for similar bylaws to be introduced in Cork County Council. The County Council hopeful is running in the Clonakilty-Skibbereen constituency.

"West Cork voted overwhelmingly to repeal the Eighth Amendment," she said. 

"The area showed compassion and I was so proud of our community last May. It's just such a shame that the hard of work of campaigners over the last 35 years has been overshadowed by anti-abortion activists and their actions to intimidate medical staff and people who choose to terminate their pregnancy".

The need for such a ban follows the repealing of the Eighth Amendment in May 2018, which meant that medical abortion became legal from 1 January 2019. 

Since then, a growing number of woman have been targeted, harassed or intimidated by anti-choice activists in attempts to halt the termination process. 

Just this week a GP surgery in Longford was defaced with anti-abortion graffiti

The Longford Medical Centre at Leader House in Longford Town, now closed due to the incident, was defaced with black and white paint on the front of the building. 

The graffiti tags – which adheres to a common theme of anti-abortion rhetoric – include messages such as "Pro-Choicer ageist Nazis were racist" and "We are being governed by criminals".

Gardaí believe that a lone vandal is responsible. 

READ MORE: Calls To Make Upskirting An Offence In Ireland

READ MORE: Longford GP Clinic Defaced With Anti-Abortion Graffiti