Meanwhile, In The Dáil


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Independent TD Clare Daly’s bill providing for abortion in cases of fatal foetal abnormality is being debated in the Dáil.

From the debate…

Previously: ‘The Role Of The State Is To Ease The Burden Of People, Not To Add To It’

Watch live here UPDATE:

94 thoughts on “Meanwhile, In The Dáil

      1. Jane

        You think you don’t hate women, but if you think that women are incapable of deciding whether to carry a pregnancy to term, you certainly don’t respect women as thinking, rational and sane people.

        1. Bluebeard

          Ah, the black and white Jane. Can’t have a problem with gay marriage without being a homophobe. It’s all about the hate isn’t it. And spare me the lecture. I promise I’m not worth it.

          1. Bluebeard

            When the holder of the argument has form, no harm to point it out. But hardly an attack by your standards joe.

        2. Neilo

          I very much do respect the distaff side. Not being a fan of something isn’t necessarily the same as forbidding it to those in need.

  1. Jock

    Im pro choice but I was fairly disgusted by the bbc3 doc with an 24 year old woman getting an abortion because she wanted to travel.

    1. postmanpat

      Maybe she got knocked up by some jobbridger and didn’t want to have him or his genes holding back her life. It’s just a clump of cells anyway at that stage. Who’s to say it wouldn’t miscarriage anyway . what are the odds? 25% for most pregnancies? Her choice. Simple. Hope she enjoys her trip.

    2. Jane

      The main thing is though, she didn’t want to be pregnant. If you’re pro choice, why’s that not good enough for you? The fact that women have to come up with some kind of explanation as to why they want an abortion and have that judged by people is part of the problem.

      1. Jock

        I person should have a very good reason but it’s impossible to legislate for this. A 24 year old working and living with a stable partner should not be getting an abortion because they want to head to Thailand for a few months.

        1. postmanpat

          Maybe her partner is only “stable” cos he’s not a father? they can always have kids later on in life.

          1. Jock

            He already has a kid that lives with them. He should probably take advice from the USI campaign above.

  2. Jimmee

    The abortion issue is emotive and divisive, but it has little impact on people’s voting behaviours.

    Want proof? Read the results from the Irish National Election Surveys conducted after each general election.

  3. Sinabhfuil

    Or perhaps Leo is stating his position under the law.

    It’s time to give the question to the people of Ireland, to see whether they want to repeal the 8th Amendment, which would allow that law to be changed.

      1. Drogg

        What a spineless poo he is. He really is a fupping typical health minister, he is willing to watch families suffer rather then take a chance with his career.

        1. Drogg

          Leo is a great man for the sound bites, you can smell the media training off him but he is terrible at defending his decisions and has an awful disconnect form people especially in his own community. I wonder has he actually sat down with any women that have had to go through a pregnancy with an FFA, because i am wondering is he just a coward and doesn’t want to rock the boat or is he as i am imaging a complete scumbag who could look a family that has gone through the pain of a FFA pregnancy and say “my hands are tied, there is an election so no referendum will be had”.

  4. Bluebeard

    With abortion it seems to be none or all. Unfortunately neither is ideal and so the row will continue forever. As usual, it’s the extremes who shout loudest, and usually at each other.

    1. Jess

      Except the ‘extremes’ on the prochoice side just want whats completely normal in every other civilised western country

      1. Diddley Aye

        Not true. Claire Daly and Ivana Bacik want late term abortions legalized. Good luck getting a mandate for that

          1. Diddley Aye

            Dream on. Your desire for the legalization of a barbaric practice is what keeps issues like fatal foetal abnormality from being dealt with.

          2. Don Pidgeoni

            The inability of the anti-choicers to see the potential grey areas in the “right to life” is what stops issues like fatal foetal abnormality from being dealt with in a calm and grown-up manner

          3. Sham Bob

            That’s a piss-poor excuse for not dealing with fatal foetal abnormality. The fears and beliefs of the ultra-conservative lobby are the actual reason. Why don’t more moderate conservatives speak up to have this issue dealt with?

          4. Diddley Aye

            Not at all. My Battleship is a little dingy bobbing around in a big grey sea. I wont support extremists anywhere cos I think they’re small minded bigoted loons and I distrust true believers of any type. Check further down the thread where Jess, who’s pro choice, approves of term limits and therefore meets Jane’s standard of seeing women as farm animals. If you see any sense in that kind of lunacy then you may get used to receiving PFO’s from Leo’s secretary’s secretary cos no-ones going to take you seriously.
            Good of you to be all chivalrous and ride to to defence of embattled feminists, I’d say they love that.
            What happened to you anyway? You used to be funny, now you’re firing off emails in green type to politicians.

        1. Jane

          The problem is that you actually have so little understanding of what you’re talking about. Late term abortions make up a vanishingly small proportion of abotions overall, and in the vast majority of cases, it’s due to the discovery of the fatal foetal abnormality that they happen.

          I know this is a culture that hates women and finds women irrational, stupid and unable to make proper decisions, but do you honestly think that women endure pregnancy up to the point of it becoming late term and then decide to have an abortion on a whim? Do you really have so little respect for women overall, or is it that you don’t realise what you’re saying when you parrot this lunacy?

          1. Diddley Aye

            Proportions mean nothing. . Nobody supports capital punishment in one country on the basis that it happens less than somewhere else.
            If you have to fall back on a whiny accusation of misogyny then you you should maybe step outside your gender studies bubble to gauge just exactly how many women would support the termination of a full term viable foetus.

          2. sickofallthisbs

            Ah here, “I know this is a culture that hates women and finds women irrational, stupid and unable to make proper decisions” – what bloody nonsense. You are doing the pro-choice side no favours with that moronic rhetoric.

            *And I’m not saying this because you are a woman – I am saying this because you are wrong.

          3. Don Pidgeoni

            A full term viable foetus ends in a birth, which I guess is a form of termination. Calm down.

          4. Jane

            The proportions mean that women who have a choice don’t tend to opt for late term abortions in the grauitious manner that people like you appear to imagine they do.

            To clarify, the vast majority of the tiny number of late term abortions are for fatal foetal abnormalities. If you thought about that for one minute, you’d probably be able to guess why, but since thinking about it would mean putting yourself in a woman’s frock, let me explan. The pregnancy has to have gone to a certain point before the abnormalities are found. That’s one of the reasons that many women support late term abortion and one of the reasons why whinging about supporting late term abortions means that the nice men like you won’t support women’s right to abort in the case of foetal abnomality really illustrates the extent to which you don’t have the first clue what you’re talking about.

          5. Bluebeard

            Jane. Is there any circumstance in which you would deny someone an abortion. Any?? Simple question. I’d ask the pro- life crowd the similar question. At least be honest that the right to abortion is the issue, not women’s health.

          6. Diddley Aye

            I can think for myself without someone steeped in the culture of victimhood clarifying things for me. Legislating for foetal abnormalities is one thing, I’d support that. Letting myself be browbeaten into allowing what I consider to be an inhumane and barbaric practice, which being Pro Choice now appears to demand, is just a step too far

          7. Jane

            No, there is no circumstance where I’d deny a woman an abortion. It’s not my place to judge the life and circumstances of another person and I would consider myself unforgivably arrogant if I thought I had the right or ability, particularly when I’m in no position to care for the resulting child. Having been pregnant myself, I do understand why other women may not wish to remain preganant though, and I cannot fathom forcing a woman to undergo it against her will.

            Women are not farm animals.

          8. sickofallthisbs

            Nobody thinks women are farm animals – what weird and whacky place are you speaking from?

          9. Bluebeard

            Your first sentence is commendably honest. The rest of your comment is just emotive, paranoid waffle.

        1. Jess

          Abortion up to 22 weeks is the law in Britain. after that, only if there is a risk to the mother or fatal foetal abnormality. Since women have the right to travel to get that service then that seems the most sensible way of structuring the law. this isn’t new territory here

          1. Bluebeard

            And is that “completely normal in every civilised western country”, or are those countries only civilised if they allow abortion up to 22 weeks?

          2. Bluebeard

            Em, denmark, finland, france, germany, italy, poland, portugal would all beg to disagree. So you are wrong jess. Sorry about that. See its actually more complicated than your lazy blah. Don’t let your anger cloud your arguments

  5. ahjayzis

    “Health minister Leo Varadkar has told the #Dail the government will not hold any referendum on abortion, as it ‘has no mandate to do so”

    This is insulting and I’m sick of hearing it.

    You don’t need to run a referendum on whether to run a referendum – a referendum is SEEKING a mandate to change the constitution. It’s circular bullshit that makes zero sense and the fact that it’s delivered so ‘fulsomely’ is indicative of the contempt this political class hold the people in.

    1. sickofallthisbs

      Is he not saying there that abortion wasn’t an issue in the last general election – FG and Labour as the biggest parties didn’t run with the we are going to have a vote on abortion ticket – so as such there is no mandate to do so? So in the next election, I’d imagine, if a party runs on the “we are going to have a referendum on abortion” ticket and gets into government then there is a mandate to do so?

      I’m not being smart but if they were to judge referendums on people protesting/pointless opinion polls/media commentators – then a vote on water charges/new general election/renegotiation of Irish debt is probably more urgent.

      1. scottser

        he’s saying that the abortion issue has been dealt with under the protection of life during pregnancy farce last year. FG don’t want to re-open those fresh wounds, imagine how many TDs will resign from the party if the whip made them vote to repeal the 8th?

      2. Medium Sized C

        You’re pretty much bang on there.
        Except that you’d have to be careful of weather water charge protests represent a majority.

        This place is an echo chamber.
        People in here seem incapable of looking outside their own opinions.
        Perhaps that’s just the internet and the curated bubble we all live in.

        But people should really open their feckin eyes.
        There is a real possibility that the voting majority might not actually want the change to the legislation.

        People like Leo Varadkar and the people he works with are really good at gauging what hills are safe to stand on. If he thought that the majority really want this, we’d probably already have something done about it.

        Inb4 I am Hitler/Blueshirt/Labour/Nazi/Commie/Right Winger/Glen Beck/Iona Institute/Paid member of every political party in Ireland.

      3. ahjayzis

        Fianna Fail and the Greens didn’t run on bank bailouts and guarantees, the USC or increased taxation and reduced spending. FG/Labour didn’t run on extending the bank guarantee, refusing to seek recompense from Europe, lowering the age of presidential candidates, increasing levies on private health insurance etc. etc.

        Your argument doesn’t work because once elected in Ireland, that is your mandate to do anything you want within constitutional bounds and as long as you get it through parliament. We might not like that that’s the case, but my point is they find it too easy to break any notional mandate they have in most circumstances, but in instances like this where a referendum – which is seeking a mandate and only asks the electorates permission – can alleviate actual suffering and right a wrong, this bullshit line is trotted out. It’s meaningless, because the mandate to govern IS there.

        A democratic government asking what the people’s will is can’t be against their mandate in a democracy, it’s the definition of a circular argument.

      4. ahjayzis

        And it’s not about protesting – Labour and FG have ACKNOWLEDGED the 8th amendment is a bad thing to keep in the constitution, so their argument is not that it shouldn’t be done, but that it CAN’T – which like I say above, it’s absolute rubbish and an act of political cowardice.

    2. d4n

      I think I’ll be voting for Direct Democracy next time round. They seem a bit nuts, but I think the biggest thing we need in this country is an avenue for citizens to circumvent politicians and their ‘mandate’ bull.

  6. martco

    no no no…he’s gay (do you not remember that from couple of weeks back??)
    so that makes him really cool and great and stuf…and therefore FG are also just super…

    so loike just vote for Leo and FG ’cause they’ve done just such a great job since they got elected


    1. Happy Molloy

      or vote for Clare Daly who spends her time, and takes up Dail time, in writing and debating unconstitutional legislation

        1. Joe the Lion

          It’s not silly, it’s a waste of public resources and just a pathetic attention-seeking ploy.
          It would be a lot more useful and productive to just get it right first time.

        2. Drogg

          But its legislation like this, that will force a referendum on repealing the 8th amendment. Clare daly yet again being the only person who seems to actually give a f**k about the real people of Ireland,

        3. Don Pidgeoni

          “It would be a lot more useful and productive to just get it right first time.”

          Yes, but that clearly didn’t happened. Trying to change policies you and your constituents don’t agree with is what politicians do, even if you think that is attention-seeking.

        4. Joe the Lion

          Blah blah blah

          Actually getting it into a form that make it over the line is what makes it happen.

          The rest is posturing.

        5. Joe the Lion

          Haha really – please explain it to me then?

          On the contrary I know EXACTLY how it works.

          I also know how effective politics works.

          Fair play to Clare for tending to the plants in her garden though.

      1. Jane

        And thankfully someone is prepared to continue making an issue of this in the Dail. Someone, at least, is not ignoring women and women’s rights and is putting herself out and on a limb. She has chosen a lonely, isolated and politically non-expedient issue, but she’s not letting that stop her.

      2. Sham Bob

        You’re either blinkered or being disingenuous by saying it’s a waste of time. Of course she knows it hasn’t a hope of succeeding. It does put pressure on the Government to deal with the issue. You can argue about the motivation, i.e. is she just trying to undermine Varadkar’s straight-talkin maverick status and the general spinelessness of government TD’s in the face of this issue? Or is she genuinely trying to effect change on a real issue affecting real people? Who fupping cares.

    2. Cluster


      Varadkar is no doubt following the advice of the Attorney General combined with a lack of willingness to run another divisive social referendum especially now that the government is somewhat in election mode. It is rather depressing if such a subject is bound at some stage in the future for a referendum since our experience shows it will be merely a polarised campaign driven by shallow sound bites and sloganeering without any real substance. Oh and it might have slipped your mind that gay people can come in all shapes and sizes and can occupy all positions on the political spectrum. At times, the fact of being gay and conservative is seen as some sort of anomaly due in no small part to cretins like Richard Waghorne, Paddy Manning and the attention-seeking Keith Mills believing that adopting exaggerated and extreme conservative positions will win them acceptance by those who will never really accept them.

  7. figleaf

    Watching this live Leo is making my blood boil. Absolute ignoramous. He’s shaking his head at amazing pleas to ‘do the decent thing’ from Ruth Coppinger, Clare Daly, Mick Wallace, Richard Boyd Barrett.

  8. Just sayin'

    Its Friday – they table the joke stuff on Fridays. Most TDs went back to their constituencies last night. They need to hold clinics to cling on to their jobs because of our bizarre system of PR.

    1. ahjayzis

      Because of our toothless and pointless local government combined rigid and ridiculous whip system that reduces backbenchers to voting fodder and thus deprives them of a role as national legislators, you mean. TD’s don’t have a role in parliament, so get re-elected on being great super-county-councillors.

      PR isn’t perfect but it beats FPTP ANY day.

  9. The Citizen

    Do we really want the Oireachtas to be able to introduce legislation that is unconstitutional? Really??!

    There is a system, it’s not perfect, but it’s pretty good at preventing totalitarianism. Claire Daly is either being incompetent or insincere.

    1. ahjayzis

      It’s not about wanting unconstitutional legislation. I’m sure Daly only introduced it to highlight the ridiculousness of a government professing that it does want to fix this issue, but at the same time won’t ‘because mandate’.

    2. Frilly Keane

      Christ t’night Citizen
      Surely bay’ta’ück we’re entitled to have them turn up and debate.

      We even reimburse their expenses to turn up and sit down ffs

    3. Jane

      No. We want this topic in the frame all the time until something is done. Clare Daly will not be invited on to the TV to discuss this topic without spurious balance provided by an Iona Institute loonbag, so she has to use the mechanisms available to keep women’s rights in the frame.

      I’d be seriously surprised if she really thinks that women are going to be allowed to abort on the basis that they don’t want to carry a dead foetus to term, but the fact that women cannot make this choice has to be hammered home.

      And I do find this idea that women’s rights should be secondary to procedure really quite offensive. Why shouldn’t women – the few that there are – make use of the Dail time available to press home the very real problem of how a stupid, shortsighted and bigoted constitutional referendum has real life effect for many of the people living in this country?

    4. scottser

      by pointing out an aspect of our constitution that clearly leads to bad law, and a potential for the contravention of a person’s human rights, clare daly is being neither sincere nor incompetent. you should level those accusations at varadkar and his cronies who know the legal position with regard to terminations in cases of FFA is untenable in the long-term yet refuse do anything about it.

  10. Frilly Keane

    This is a disgusting attendance performance by the Government and their whipped TDs

    They’ll do more media performances and speaking engagements on the motion being debated rather than actually turn up in numbers to the debate.

    This Government needs to go, and there is no better evidence that this collective ‘turning their arse’ to the house.

    A General Election has to be called for by more than just me.

    C’mon people. Ück’em out.

    1. Drogg

      TD’s pay should relate to time spent in the chamber less time there less pay they make. I bet you the place would be full every day then.

  11. Drogg

    Just heard Richard Boyd Barretts speech about his own child born with a FFA and its heart breaking. I hope Leo never has to experience the pain these families go through.

  12. Bonkers

    Opinion polls have shown that 82% of the Irish public are in favour of abortion in the case of fatal fetal abnormalities,
    Why couldnt he just legislate on it and if some looper wants to take a constitutional challenge to force some woman to carry a dead baby inside her body then let them.

    Leo is very liberal when it comes to gay marriage, not so when it comes to the State controlling womens bodies.

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