Activists are 'brainwashing' politicians and HSE management when it comes to proposed new gender recognition laws, according to a leading doctor at the National Gender Service.
Endocrinologist Professor Donal O'Shea was speaking as the Seanad debates the Gender Recognition Bill.
The bill would "provide a right to self-determination for persons who have reached the age of 16 years", without parental consent.
Prof O'Shea told Newstalk Breakfast the plan is "incredibly dangerous".
"There's nothing easy about being transgender," he said.
"What we've seen over the last 15 years in our service is that the very best outcomes are in individuals who have very good support from within their environment.
"If they're transitioning without the support of their families, the outcomes are just much poorer.
"So, it's implicit, if you're allowing someone to get a Gender Recognition Cert without the support of their parents... that there is conflict."
He said any such conflict needs to be dealt with.
"That conflict should be addressed; the reasons for that conflict should be addressed and then you should move forward in a supportive environment.
"Giving a 16-year-old a cert that will allow them to access surgery in another country is incredibly dangerous.
"We know that people do that once they get the cert."
'No argument in favour'
Prof O'Shea said he can't see any argument in favour of the plan.
"There is no argument, sensibly, that can be made in favour of it," he said.
"What's happened is the activist voice internationally has taken centre stage."
He suggested this activism is being spearheaded in Ireland by TENI and BelongTo "that are shaping - if not brainwashing - political thinking."
"[They're] shaping - if not brainwashing - senior management thinking in the HSE to say an activist view is correct, when it's not correct," he said.
"The clinicians in the field have been saying this needs to be approached with caution, this needs to be done... in a careful manner.
"The activists have it that we're right-wing restrictive, and if the politicians speak - and speak sense - they're cancelled," he added.
A TENI spokesperson said they would like to see the implementation of the Review of the Gender Recognition Act 2015, which recommends "a system of gender recognition should be introduced for children of any age", subject to key principles.
This includes parental consent required, with "an appropriate legal process to address cases where there is not consent from both parents or it is not possible or safe to obtain same".