‘I’m Not Convinced A Referendum To Repeal The Eighth Would Pass’


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Minister for Children Katherine Zappone launching the Rape Crisis Network of Ireland’s report on sexual violence against members of the LGBT community earlier today

Minister for Children Katherine Zappone spoke to Audrey Carville on RTÉ’s News At One today.

It followed Ms Zappone launching the Rape Crisis Network of Ireland’s report on the sexual violence in the LGBT community.

The report was carried out by the RCNI with Gay Switchboard Ireland and the Gay & Lesbian Equality Network (GLEN).

After discussing the findings of the report, Ms Carville raised the defeat of Independents 4 Change TD Mick Wallace’s bill…

During the interview, Ms Zappone said:

“…What I find is, in my work both going around the country and also in working with frontline agencies, such as the Rape Crisis Network represents, is that people want to talk to me about childcare, child homelessness, repealing the 8th – those are the issues that they’re concerned about and they’re looking to Government to do something about. Those are the issues on the minds and hearts of our people.”

I have been an advocate, as a feminist really, for the past 30 years to change the constitution with regard to abortion. I think we live in a country where there’s way too much restriction on the legislation for women to access, in times of certain circumstances what they require when they are pregnant.”

Having said that, I did study the bill, very carefully. Obviously, I listened to and accepted the advice of the Attorney General, I talked to other legal advisors, I talked to medical professionals and concluded that it actually wouldn’t bring about the desired effect of the authors of the bill.”

So I expect probably, if I had been in Opposition, I would have voted against it as well.”

“My primary objective is that we would get some constitutional change in relation to the 8th amendment. I think to call one [a referendum] now – I’m not convinced yet that enough people are with us, especially those who are still to be persuaded, part of middle Ireland, to say yes, they agree finally that there are various circumstances where women do, in very difficult circumstances, do the best and the most correct and ethical action to choose abortion or to terminate their pregnancy.”

“So I’m not convinced that our people are ready to pass that referendum and we need more time and I think the process of a Citizens’ Assembly is the best way to move in that direction.”

Listen back in full here

Previously: A Matter Of Conscience


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72 thoughts on “‘I’m Not Convinced A Referendum To Repeal The Eighth Would Pass’

  1. MoyestWithExcitement

    “I’m not convinced yet that enough people are with us,”

    I’d love to know what she’s basing that on considering she obviously thought we were ready for marriage equality. Religious dogma drives opposition to both.

        1. The Gawm

          Can you imagine how we feel with you spouting your racist drivel on every comment thread!

          1. MoyestWithExcitement

            It’s not. He’s a derranged troll who I called out for racism re Halawa so he’s taken it to heart and been snapping at my heels since shouting ‘I know you are but what am I?’

          2. The Gawm

            Hi Spoton

            In this new BS commenting paradigm, one can determine what is racist and what is not racist according to one’s whims. In this case, Moyest is a terrible racist, and indeed an arch troll. There is no consistency or reason needed.

            Moyest is now ignoring me as he cannot muster an adequate response, indicating his limited intellectual ability, evidence of which one can see in his lack of spelling ability.

            This has been a public service comment by The Gawm.

          3. The Gawm

            Aww Moyest are you feeling persecuted now? So you should be, you racist.

            My efforts have reduced Moyest’s poo-posting by at least 5% today.

            If you appreciate this, please donate to my bitcoin address

          4. MoyestWithExcitement

            It’s a worthy cause people. Those meals for one won’t pay for themselves.

          5. The Gawm

            Aww you can’t even insult properly anymore. Truly you are a beaten down little racist. By this time on Friday you were riding high, accusing all and sundry of being “fragile little racists”

            Why don’t you take your own advice :

            “Don’t like my posts? Don’t read them.”

          6. The Gawm

            See? When you run out of ideas you just revert to poor quality insults. It’s as if your blood sugar drops in the afternoon. Have a Mars bar, that is if you can tolerate a brown coloured chocolate bar.

            I’m glad you like my posts. It’s an honour to help educate a small minded racist such as yourself.

          7. The Gawm

            Hi Moyest

            Aww you are so tired out your widdle wacist bwain can’t muster any decent retorts. I will say that your shorter sentences give you less opportunity to demonstrate your poo spelling capability.

            No pamphlets, no. Though I will be here to troll you just as hard as you have been trolling. You can’t stop yourself from having the last word. It’s such a thrill for me to be giving you ego orgasms across the internet, let me tell you.

            Every Moyest commented thread will be a rubbish-bonfire mess from now on!

          8. MoyestWithExcitement

            “It’s such a thrill for me to be giving you ego orgasms across the internet, let me tell you.”

            You saucey little minx.

          9. rotide

            You’re doing sterling work today Gawm.

            Moyests outbursts are confined to one part of each thread, good work!

    1. The Gawm

      Spoken like a true bigot. What you don’t know could fill a barn.

      Do you

      a) rise above this and continue trolling elsewhere

      b) troll here

      The choice is yours (but really I made it for you)

    2. Owen C

      Hmm. I’m only marginally religious (church wedding, baby baptised, but haven’t been to church for a ‘normal’ mass for probably a decade or so), and my views on marriage equality (a resounding Yes) and abortion (restrictions should be eased significantly but still controlled) are neither fully aligned nor religious in nature. Painting the debate as religious-driven risks simplifying too far.

      1. rotide


        Im exactly like you Owen (less religious though) and I suspect a very large proportion of Irish people hold similar views

        1. Toe Up

          @Owen C & Rotide

          Can I ask what is the motivation for the church wedding and baptising your children, if you are only marginally religious and have no interest in any more participation in the Catholic church?

          1. Daisy Chainsaw

            A church day out for de granny
            A shedload of presents for the kid

            Take your pick.

          2. Owen C

            Its a simple tradition that has a history going back thousands of years. I was baptised, my parents married in a church. Ditto my wife and her parents. I don’t need to buy into the full religious rationale to be able to appreciate the tradition and history that surrounds it. A baptism is as much a celebration of a new child coming into the world as anything overtly religious (most of it is about caring for and teaching a child about right or wrong as they grow up). A wedding is about celebrating two people committing to each other in front of friends and family. I have simply chosen to keep some historic Irish traditions alive by doing them in a church setting. I would also like to offer my daughter the opportunity to be religious if she so wants, and/or to also take part in these Irish traditions, although it won’t come with any pressure from either my wife or I.

  2. 15 cents

    and she dare call herself a feminist in the middle of all that statement. she’s done a full 180 on everything she purturbed to be before getting a seat. but none more so disgraceful than this u-turn. beating the drum for the governments mandate on the issue, but also trying to make it sound like she’s on the other side at the same time. when the mileage thing came out, that she takes a slightly longer route pushing her into the higher expense bracket, because its a more efficeint route (nonsensical), i knew she was a complete turncoat.. and shes done nothing but further prove that since. one the pig is at the trough it wants only one thing.

    1. Kieran NYC

      Yes. Because fundamentalism and an unwillingness to negotiate or compromise is always awesome.

  3. bisted

    …surprised Zappone didn’t join the labour party…she has all the credentials…willing to sarcrifice any principle she may have had for power and pension…

  4. newsjustin

    I think the Minister is right.

    Except about the bit where she says she’d have probably voted against the bill in opposition also. I doubt that.

  5. DubLoony

    Its funny, many people were not “ready” for marriage equality until a full scale campaign got underway once the referendum was announced.
    Many people change their minds once they heard the arguments.

    As for the AG’s advice – we have a constitution and Dail cannot knowingly pass legislation that is repugnant to the constitution.

    1. MoyestWithExcitement

      “As for the AG’s advice – we have a constitution and Dail cannot knowingly pass legislation that is repugnant to the constitution.”

      Isn’t that the purpose of the judicial wing of the government?

    2. Anne

      “As for the AG’s advice – we have a constitution and Dail cannot knowingly pass legislation that is repugnant to the constitution.”

      That’s all well and grand.. but the AG’s advice is thrown around like it’s the gospel.
      If the FFA bill cannot be brought in as it’ll be in contravention of the 8th amendment, then we need to be discussing a referendum on the 8th.. Not saying, ara it’s da law, what’s ya gonna do.

      People refer to the law like it’s a holy writ… ya have to pay your water charges. It’s da law. You have to pay your property taxes, it’s now the law. You have to pay your TV license… the law.

      Laws are influenced by the society we live in, and if a law is outdated, it can and should be changed. The AG advice should be seen in context…It’s not a final pronouncement on the matter as some people seem to be using it as.

      Just sounding off there… thanks for listening.

      1. DubLoony

        Law is the basis for running the country. We elect lawmakers (stop laughing), if we don’t like a law we change it. But we also as a society are compliant with the law.

      2. MoyestWithExcitement

        “It’s not a final pronouncement on the matter as some people seem to be using it as.”

        Amen. It’s FG getting ideas above their station yet again. It’s not the job of the AG to rule a bill unconstitutional. That’s the point of the courts. Although FG wanted the upper house gone and their potential new leader is on record saying referenda are undemocratic so it’s par for the grubby power hungry course with them.

        1. ivan

          You’re quite right.

          The *only* slight difficulty in this scenario is that it puts the AG in a funny position.

          If – for the sake of argument – the govt decides that they want to bring in a law that makes the wearing of red trousers illegal, and they run it past the AG (or she has input into the drafting or whatever) and it’s passed by the Dail, and then MIchael D takes a look and says ‘hang on’ and fires it over to the Supreme Court for a look-see, then there are hearings. The SC doesn’t just look at the bill in a vacuum, but rather listens to arguments from sides opposed and in favour and the ‘in favour’ side is led by the AG, on behalf of the govt.

          In the case of the Wallace bill, then the AG would actually have to stand up (if referred to the SC) for a bill she already said she reckoned was unconstitutional.

          anyway – that’s merely an aside to the meat’n’two veg of the argument, but it’s worth saying IMHO.

          1. MoyestWithExcitement

            “The SC doesn’t just look at the bill in a vacuum, but rather listens to arguments from sides opposed and in favour and the ‘in favour’ side is led by the AG, on behalf of the govt.”

            Definitely worth saying.

  6. classter

    I personally am completely pro-choice.

    Can someone explain why bringing it through the Citizen’s Assembly is a bad idea?

    1. DubLoony

      Some people don’t want to disucss it at all.
      Some people want the Dáil to deal with it. Many in the Dáil wish to christ they wouldn’t have to deal with it.
      And others want the 8th gone already and don’t see the point of off-shoring legislators work to a secret, unelected body that has no basis in the constitution.

      If it takes the heat out of the argument, allows people to present all sides and if that what middle Ireland needs to go ahead and remove the 8th, then get on with the damn thing.

    2. Kieran NYC

      Because some people it seems would rather lose a repeal referendum than compromise on timing.

    3. The Real Jane

      Because the citizen’s assembly is going to be a hand picked gang who are going to give pre determined advice. If they didn’t come up with the formula that they will come up with, they wouldn’t have been put on in the assembly.

      It’s not going to be good enough.

  7. rotide

    Here is a proven progressive outright who is in favor of constituitional change wrt the 8th outright telling people that the bill last week was legally unsound and obviously she gets savaged by the militants on here.

    She clearly states that she had discussions with the AG AND other legal experts and concluded that the bill wouldn’t hold water. Literally no one here did anything close to that amount of research and yet she’s wrong.

    She clearly states shes in favor of change and after doing her research says that a referendum may not pass without more groundwork done. I’m willing to take her on her word there because we’ve had enough bloody referendums about the subject and I’d like the next one to pass and sort it out once and for all.

    1. Nigel

      As far as I can tell, everything she’s said and done here are entirely defensible and honourable and may actually end up achieving something.

  8. moroccan rug dealer

    Saw this woman renovating her dublin property whilst she also had a second weekend property in wicklow. Ah….how the other half live with homeless children holed up in hotel rooms and thousands more hungry.

  9. Eoin

    Maybe she means there’s no desire for a change in the constitution amongst the gay and lesbian communities? I don’t think she speaks for anyone else.

  10. Eva

    ROSA https://www.facebook.com/ROSAwomen2014/ have written a very good email that you can send to Zappone in protest for her stance on this:
    Send to: Katherine.zappone@oireachtas.ie

    Dear Deputy Zappone,

    I am writing to you to express my utter disappointment in your recent comments about the referendum to repeal the 8th Amendment to the constitution. You have on many occasions called yourself pro-choice, but now seem determined to follow the short-sighted Fine Gael ‘line’ that a Citizens’ Assembly would suffice for now and a referendum might take place sometime in the future.
    Saying that people aren’t ready is inaccurate. Several polls in the recent months (from Red C and Irish Times/Ipsos MRBI for instance) have indicated substantial majority support for access to abortion in Ireland. Thousands of women and men of all ages participate in the rally for choice every year and your comment that people aren’t ready is patronising and betrays a reluctance on your part.
    I, therefore, wish to express my disappointment with your stance on abortion rights lately and urge you to act to protect womens’ access to reproductive rights now by supporting the AAA/PBP Bill seeking to repeal the 8th Amendment in October and therefore give us the chance to have our voices heard through a referendum.
    We can’t wait, repeal the 8th!

    Your Name
    Your Full Address

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