‘There’s No Appetite For A Further Referendum’


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Minister for Foreign Affairs, Charlie Flanagan, pictured arriving at Leinster House in July

Foreign affairs minister Charlie Flanagan spoke to Seán O’Rourke this morning and, at one point, they discussed the abortion story. Specifically, they talked about how the HSE are currently carrying out a review of the care given to the young woman.

Seán O’Rourke: “What about the possibility that what emerges from the report may suggest to you and colleagues that the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act be revisited in some way?”

Charlie Flanagan: “Well there is a suggestion that the act isn’t working. However, I think before we can be conclusive on that, or before we can form an opinion on that, we need to be appraised fully of the facts and the circumstances. There is, built into the legislation, and you know, we’re not going to revisit the lengthy hearings, the submissions and the engagement that ultimately formed the act about this time last year. I think it’s important that the review mechanism, under the act, be allowed take place. If the current case means bringing that forward a few months, then so bet it. There doesn’t appear to be an appetite for a further referendum. However, it’s important that Government does address the issue in the context of the facts of this, of this particularly harrowing case so early into the operation of the legislation.”

O’Rourke: “What would you say to the suggestion, and it’s put forward increasingly by your partners, in Government, in the Labour Party, that 31 years on from the original amendment, the article 40.3.3 that was inserted into the constitution, that that should now, in the round, be examined with a view perhaps to putting the issue before the people again.”

Flanagan: “Yeah, well, I think it’s important that we look at, we’d say the Fine Gael position, my party position. And before the last election we made three essential and important points. Firstly, we said that we wouldn’t legislate for abortion in Ireland and we didn’t. Secondly, we said… ”

O’Rourke: “That’s disputed, but we’ll let that go.”

Flanagan: “We had to address, it was incumbent upon us to address the issue of the European Court of Human Rights’ judgement in the A, B, C case and that was addressed, in the form of legislation. And, thirdly, we promised that we women in pregnancy would receive an appropriate level of medical treatment that was necessary. That is inbuilt in the legislation and it’s important in the context of this case that you now mentioned, that there is adequate follow through on that and that we satisfy ourselves that there was an appropriate level of medical treatment and attention available to that person.”

Previously: At The Mercy Of The State

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76 thoughts on “‘There’s No Appetite For A Further Referendum’

  1. Am I still on This Island

    Sample straw poll, who would like to see a referendum with the following wording

    1 Should the 8th amendment be removed from
    The Irish constitution yes/no

    2 Should the Goverment legislate for abortion were medically recommended, in circumstances of Foetus abnormality, Risk to the life of the mother, rape or any circumstances were a medical professional feels it is required Yes or No

  2. Spartacus

    Charlie Flanagan? The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Charlie Flanagan? The one claiming a close working relationship with the Israeli ambassador? The one who (in the same interview) made clear that he doesn’t know where the Israeli Knesset sits, citing Tel Aviv as the destination of his “clear message” on Gaza?

    *That* Charlie Flanagan?

  3. Nigel

    There isn’t an appetite to see the coalition tying itself in knots again trying to appear to be providing abortion services that can be accessed through the eye of a needle and then busily burying that needle in a haystack.

  4. Llareggub

    God that last paragraph is utter gobbledegook. Slip in the words ‘incumbent upon us’ and we’ll be grand Charlie.

    ‘There doesn’t appear to be an appetite for a further referendum.’ See you at six o’clock at The Spire Charlie.

    1. Odis

      They are going to do nothing because that’s the easiest political option.
      The reality is that if you want an abortion, you can get one in the UK. It’s been that way for almost fifty years.

      Every now and again, there will be some embarrassment for them. Miss X, Savita, the lady with “poor” immigration status. etc.

      They”ll end up paying one of their m8’s to write a report, and doing **** all.

      No appetite (this close to an election)

  5. Don Pidgeoni

    I think he means “political appetite”. They are on holidays after all and none of them (bar Clare and Mick etc) want to put their necks out to do what is only right.

  6. Am I still on This Island

    Rotide, you think the surveys and polls in recent years in relation to this are wrong? The Irish people have never been asked out straight about abortion and since the 90’s all four votes have been in favour of more liberal laws, twice refusing to remove suicide & 2 votes on freedom of travel and information.

    As it stands our laws effect the most weak and vulnerable in society the most in relation to this issue

  7. Clampers Outside!

    Bullsh*t plain and simple…. the slack jawed yokels for politicians have no stomach or “appetite” for another referendum, particularly one with a proper abortion law change on the cards…. not some half arsed bull like the last one.

    The people, I believe, have a very hefty appetite for a PROPER referendum.

    I hope people don’t listen to this fool of a gombeen. Joany said the very same thing a couple of weeks back. It is the politicians, with no desire to listen to the public that don’t have the appetite. The very cretins that came up with the last joke of a referendum.

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