Tag Archives: Abortion


In a week that saw [at the UNHRC in Geneva] a principal officer at the Department of Health admit that Ireland’s abortion law discriminated against women who could not afford to travel to Britain, Dublin South East TD Lucinda Creighton [on yesterday's Marian Finucane programme on RTÉ Radio One], chose another story to discuss…

Marian Finucane:You picked out as well a story in the Business Post called ‘NAMA Offers Deals To Stop Developers Seeking Bankruptcy Abroad’.”

Lucinda Creighton:Yeah. I just had a quick look at that. I suppose the thing that strikes me about this is that we have to be very careful when we’re trying to resolve the huge problems that we still obviously have in the property sector. A lot of major players who have been embroiled now for a number of years in trying to resolve debt overhang etc with NAMA that we don’t forget about all of the other business in the country that is literally you know collapsing under the weight of debt and this is something that Morgan Kelly and many others have pointed to as one of the biggest challenges to economic recovery in this country so. I have a fear, I have a concern that if we talk about special circumstances for bankruptcy where people involved in property development and speculation in the past and we ignore the huge existing problem and challenge for a lot of people in small business who can’t afford to go to the UK for bankruptcy purposes for example, being truthful. It’s just not an option for them. You know I think prioritising one cohort of business people above others is actually, firstly is completely unfair and secondly actually risks ignoring probably the biggest challenge we have to economic recovery which is getting the small and medium sized enterprise domestic economy back functioning.”

Listen here (scroll to 48 minute mark)

Previously: No Solution

What The Man From The UN Said

Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland


Sir Nigel Rodley

Over the last two days the UN Human Rights Committee in open hearings in Geneva, Switzerland has been examining Ireland’s human rights record.

The committee’s chairman Sir Nigel Rodley closed proceedings today with an address that included the following..

Ireland’s treatment of women:

“the Magdalene Laundries, the Mother and Baby Homes, the child abuse, the symphysiotomy – it’s quite a collection and it’s a collection that has carried on [for a] period that it’s hard to imagine any state party tolerating. And I guess I can’t prevent myself from observing that [they] are not disconnected from the institutional belief system that has predominated in the state party.”

On Ireland’s laws on women’s reproductive rights:

“the recognition of the primary right to life of the woman who is an existent human being has to prevail over that of the unborn child and I can’t begin to understand by what belief system the priority would be given to the latter rather than the former. It is good to see that in 2013 at last that is clearly being clarified. I’m sorry that the clarification does not extend to the health of the woman.”

On the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act:

“Life without quality of life is not something many of us have to choose between, and to suggest that regardless of the health consequences of a pregnancy a person may be doomed to continue it at the risk of criminal penalties is difficult to understand, even more so arguably for rape where the person doesn’t even bear any responsibility and is by the law clearly treated as a vessel and nothing more.”

ICCL [Irish Council For Civil Liberties] Wholeheartedly Endorses Coruscating UN Comments on Ireland (ICCL)



Earlier: Nightmares

Minister outlines Ireland’s position on abortion at UN Human Rights Committee (RTÉ)


[A protest at Dublin Airport Busarus by the Perform Collective for Choice in 2013]

Further to figures released today by the UK Department of Health.

Niall Behan of the Irish Family Planning Association writes:

“At least 3,679 women were forced to travel to the UK last year to access a safe and legal abortion because they are denied these necessary health services in their own country. Every day our clients tell us about their experiences of being abandoned by the Irish health care system and forced to rely on the services of another country.

“Since 1980, over 158,252 women have had to make the journey to the UK to access abortion. These women are not criminals but the law treats them as such because they are seeking a service that is illegal in almost every circumstance in Ireland.

“The criminalisation of abortion does not deter women from seeking an abortion but it does act as a barrier to receiving care. Abortion is the only other area of health where the Government can ignore its duty of care and shift the onus of seeking services onto women.”


(Eamonn Farrell/Photocall Ireland)



The Life Institute has produced a list of candidates [after consulting only Direct Democracy, Fianna Fáil, the Green Party and Independents] for the local elections who they claim support the following statement:

Do you support the repeal of the legislation which permits abortion on suicide grounds, and support making Ireland a place where unborn children are legally protected and mothers get all necessary life-saving treatment in pregnancy?

Some of the candidates who feature on the list include Paul Anthony Ward (Fianna Fáil), Seán Haughey (Fianna Fáil), and Danny Healy Rae (Independent).


Of the 157 (now 163) candidates listed, 144 (now 148) are male and 13 (now 15) female.

This means approximately 92% (now 91%) are men.

Make of that what you will.

Download the list here (last updated 11:00 May 23).

The Life Institute’s guide to the European election is here.

Previously: Ballyhea Says No

Thanks Stephanie

10325410_697850563605063_609208816822705967_n  European Election candidate for Ireland South, Diarmuid O’Flynn (centre)

In response to questions posed by the Life Institute on the issue of abortion, we asked European election candidate for Ireland South, Diarmuid O’Flynn (61) if the quotes attributed to him were correct.

The questions and his replies were as follows:

1. Do you support the repeal of the legislation which permits abortion on suicide grounds, and support making Ireland a place where unborn children are legally protected and mothers get all necessary life-saving treatment in pregnancy?

2. Will you oppose measures in the European Parliament which seek to liberalise Ireland’s abortion laws and support pro-life measures such as the One of Us campaign?

“On a purely personal level I disagree with that particular legislation and the suicide clause but as stated in the original mail, it is not a European issue, it is a national issue.

The second, absolutely I would oppose any such measures. There are some questions that are for a nation to decide for itself; this is one.”


He subsequently followed up with a blogpost this morning on the subject:


The ugliest word in the dictionary…The only occasion on which I can foresee abortion arising in the EU is as an equal rights/civil right issue. I would vigorously oppose any such imposition on Ireland. Abortion is an area in which we should remain sovereign; this is an issue for Ireland to decide, on its own.

There is life in a foetus, helpless life that needs nourishing and protection. Everything possible should be done to bring that life to the birth stage.

I believe in the equal right to life of the mother and child. If there is a threat to the life of the mother there should be timely medical intervention to save her life. Every effort should also be made to save the life of the child; if this fails, it fails.

I can see why many people believe that such a threat to a mother’s life should include suicide. I don’t agree. I believe this then makes the life of the unborn foetus subservient to the life of the mother.

Even for the most stable, mentally strong woman, abortion is surely a highly emotive decision. A suicidal prospective mother is already suffering serious emotional stress. An abortion will add to that stress.

It’s a lose/lose scenario, a most divisive argument and for very obvious reasons. But there it is. I know that in a situation where I’m going to need every vote I can get this will cost me but given that I’m coming out of nowhere I believe it’s only right people should know who I am.

Pic: Ballyhea Says No (Facebook)


A Dublin priest has been appointed Bishop of Elphin in the midlands and west of Ireland.

Kevin Doran, 61, was named by Pope Francis to succeed retired Bishop Christopher Jones at the head of the diocese.

Cardinal Sean Brady praised Bishop-elect Doran for his work organising the 50th International Eucharistic Congress.

His advocacy and championing of the right to life of the unborn child, and his work in promoting vocations to the priesthood, are but two of the many talents and gifts which Bishop-elect Kevin has shared during his priestly ministry for the good of the Church and of our society,” the Cardinal said.

Praise indeed from Sean Brady.

Is this the same Father Kevin Doran, who according to the Irish Independent delayed the treatment of lung cancer patients at Dublin’s Mater Hospital because female patients who could get pregnant would have to take contraceptives under the treatment?

Dublin priest appointed as the new bishop of the midlands and west of Ireland (Irish Times)

Previously: Nothing Really Maters

“Would He Prefer For Both Of Them To Die?”

Pic: YouTube

00133537Demonstration outside Marie Stopes Clinic, Belfast 2012

The High Court in London has ruled women from Northern Ireland are not legally entitled to free abortions on the NHS in England.

The case was brought by a 15-year-old girl (claimant A) and her mother who live in Northern Ireland.

After becoming pregnant, she travelled to England with her mother (claimant B) in October 2012.

The court was told her mother had struggled to part-raise funds to pay for her daughter to have a termination privately in England.

Unlike the rest of the UK, abortion is only allowed in very restricted circumstances in Northern Ireland.

More than 1,000 women each year travel from NI to have an abortion in other parts of the UK.

Those who do travel must pay for their transport, accommodation and the cost of the procedure.

Mr Justice King ruled that Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt’s duty to promote a comprehensive health service in England “is a duty in relation to the physical and mental health of the people of England”, and that duty did not extend “to persons who are ordinarily resident in Northern Ireland”.

In England, Wales and Scotland access to abortion is covered by the 1967 Abortion Act.

High Court in London says NI women not entitled to free NHS abortions in England (BBC News NI)

Previously: Choice Words

Flying In The Face Of God

Meanwhile, In Belfast

File pic: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland