“If She Can’t Do It Maybe She Should Decide To Retire.”

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Soft-spoken Fine Gael TD Peter Mathews (above) was on last night’s ‘Late Debate’ on RTE Radio One, presented by Audrey Carville, ostensibly to discuss pensions with others including journalist and author Sinead Ryan.

This being Ireland they were soon on to abortion.

And the career prospects of the Master of the National Maternity Hospital, Dr Rhona Mahony (top) …

Audrey Carville: “Do you..do you not think suicide should be included in the legislation? The risk of suicide…”

Peter Mathews: “The evidence, the up to date evidence from the practitioners and there were eight of them this morning ah giving their views from experience and from their reading and knowledge. And no..none of them said in their opinion was the threat or the risk of suicide for any person to be treated with as ah final an act as an abortion. It was not a treatment. The main thing for somebody threatening suicide is to keep them safe and well, to mind them because did you ever hear of somebody committing suicide in the company of another unless it was another person in a joint suicide? No. If you keep somebody minded and well, you actually diminish if not eliminate the risk of suicide.”

Carville: “Sinead Ryan, what’s what’s your view on this?”

Sinead Ryan: “My goodness. Well that was the longest maybe I’ve ever heard in history.”

Mathews: “Well, it’s not a maybe.”

Ryan: “But you didn’t say yes or no. She asked you a direct question.”

Mathews: “Because the situation hasn’t arisen, Sinead. Be logical.”

Ryan: “But we know what the legislation is going to be.”

Mathews: “We don’t. Do you? Share it with us.”

Ryan: “Of course we do.”

Mathews: “We don’t know it.”

Ryan: “There is going to be legislation for the X case…”

Mathews: “If people…”

Ryan: “…..including a clause for suicide. That that’s been a given for..since you went into government.”

Mathews: “Some things have been introduced or some things have been ah on on the list of things to do and they don’t necessarily happen.”

Ryan: “You’ll be hoping this will be kicked to touch again?”

Mathews: “Have you ever heard of people doing down to the altar to get married and deciding at the church door, no?”

Ryan: “So so would your preferred solution be is that this gets kicked to touch out of this government?”

Mathews: “It doesn’t. You weren’t listening to what I said. I’m saying that the in so far as the X case was articulated in the judgement of the Supreme Court. It was actually…”

Ryan: “You don’t need legislation? Now I did hear what you said.”

Mathews: “It was redundant. They strayed into an area that they weren’t competent to do.”

Ryan: “But there are medics, there are doctors who’ve called for the…people actually dealing on the coal face. I spent last night with Rhona Mahony because she was talking at at a seminar I was at and she, she has said she cannot effectively do her job without this legislation. She cannot. She is afraid.”

Mathews: “Well if she can’t do it maybe she should decide to ah to retire? Because others can.”

Ryan: “What?”

Mathews: “Others can. Others can do it. As I said, as I said….”

Ryan: “That is…I can’t believe you said that.”

Mathews: “Others are able to deliver babies and look after pregnant women and so on after twenty years without any major…any major difficulties.”

Listen here.

Previously: What Rhona Said