The Ruth Gets In The Way Of A Good Story


Earlier this afternoon.

Scenes from inside the Dáil chamber after Taoiseach Enda Kenny gave his resignation speech, followed by speeches about Kenny’s tenure from party leaders and party representatives.


Solidarity TD Ruth Coppinger raised the case highlighted in yesterday’s Irish Times by Kitty Holland.

About how a young pregnant girl, who was at risk of suicide, was sectioned – after she sought an abortion.

Ruth Coppinger: “Taoiseach, honesty in politics is important so I’m not going to engage in fake, back-slapping. I will congratulate you on writing your own speech which I believe you did. I was a bit bemused at you mentioning Michael Davitt, a revolutionary and a socialist but we’ll leave that aside.

“In summing up your legacy, Taoiseach, I could focus on six years on unprecedented austerity, suffered by the many to bail out the few or the massive homeless and health crisis that you’re laving in your wake. Or indeed the crisis in the gardai and in the State.

“But, in the short time I have and the day that’s in it, I’ll pick one issue that sums up completely the type of Ireland that you and the establishment that you’ve so ably represented have bequeathed in the five decades you’ve been in the Dáil. And that is the incarceration, internment and imprisonment of a vulnerable, pregnant teenager, who asked for an abortion and who asked for help.

“And although we know little of the circumstances, we do know this: A pregnant child shouldn’t be forced to have a child. A pregnant child, in legal terms, is a raped child. The pregnant person best knows how they feel about being pregnant. And, Taoiseach, people around the country are comparing this outrage are comparing this to an episode of The Handmaid’s Tale.

Twenty-five years ago, this nation rose up at the incarceration of a teenage rape victim but it’s still happening under your watch because you did nothing to make sure it wouldn’t happen again.

“The much heralded Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act that you and the Labour party boast about has proven impossible for any suicidal person to access an abortion because they’re put through an inquisition. Their feelings are ignored and their rights to bodily and mental autonomy are completely ignored. And this happened last year. We do not know what happened to this girl, whether she succeeded in getting an abortion or whether she was forced to remain pregnant.

Now Taoiseach, we’ve a history in this country, it’s been mentioned today, of incarcerating pregnant women and girls and we thought that that era was over but many people have been outraged over what they’ve found out over the last 24 hours – that a psychiatrist would have the power, with their own views, to section a girl for the crime of wanting not to be pregnant.

“It seems it’s an illness warranting being locked up, to want an abortion. Not alone that, Taoiseach, but it appears a judge adjudicated and heard this case and awarded a guardian to the girl and, wait for it, her foetus. Now…”

Ceann Comhairle Seán Ó Fearghaíl: “I don’t want to interfere with any member’s contribution today. But I’m afraid you’re venturing into territory that is completely at odds with the business that’s before us today.”

Coppinger:With the legacy of the Taoiseach?

Ó Fearghaíl: “I, you’re talking about a specific case which none of us have full information.”

Coppinger: “Yeah. I, ok, thank you, Ceann Comhairle, I’ll bear that in mind. I’m going by the information that we do have and I’m just generalising now. So, not alone that Taoiseach, a judge adjudicated on the case, as I said. But Taoiseach, you’re going and what I hope is the reactionary policies are going with you. That the backwardness that was visited on young people in this country for so many decades will also go. You’ve had your time, hopefully we’ll have a different time.

“That the yearning there is for a different type of society among young people in particular, can be brought about. And, in finishing Taoiseach, I hope we see a movement now to bring about the separation of Church and State and the type of legislation that gives the person involved the right to make this decision for themsevels. And, hopefully, that movement won’t take very long.

With your new incumbent, we’ll find out but I certainly would encourage people to actively ensure that it happens because we can’t trust the people in this Dail to ensure that these cases don’t happen again.”

Watch back in full here

Previously: ‘Not The Solution’

Meanwhile, in London…

The cosmic ballet continues.

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82 thoughts on “The Ruth Gets In The Way Of A Good Story

  1. scottser

    i would have left a whoopee cushion under his seat, but fair play ruth coppinger, that’ll do.

    1. I'm "alright" Jack. Mad Jack is on annual leave.

      Why? It’s grandstanding bullcrap
      The man has done his job whether right or wrong and deserves a hospitable send off , why hijack it with the negative reviews?

  2. martco

    watch later as they don’t show this bit on the 9 o’clock news

    nicely played Ruth Coppinger, truth vs horsepoo

    1. Daisy Chainsaw

      She came not to praise Caesar but to bury him. Was anything she said untrue? If FG just wanted a circlejerk of happy clappy platitudes, they should have saved all this rubbish for a FG only going away party.

    2. mildred st. meadowlark

      No, it really is the right time. This is his legacy. In the eight odd years since FG have been in power, we have seen instance after instance that something has to be done, that this is a problem that is not going away, and they have done nothing. All of this on Kenny’s watch.

      They set up the citizens assembly, only to ignore the recommendations made. Enda kenny has not done his job, at least not by the women of this country.

      He’s failed us many times, despite innumerable calls for change, and many opportunities to do so.

      Ruth Coppinger is spot on.

      1. Steve

        “He failed us many many times”

        Sure that’s just your opinion….and probably the opinion of many TDs who still managed to say a few nice words today

        1. MoyestWithExcitement

          In their opinion it wasn’t appropriate to say “nice words”. In your opinion it *is* appropriate to offer meaningless platitudes to an incompetent administrator who helped bring this country back to 19th century levels of organisation. Isn’t it great that we all have opinions?

        2. mildred st. meadowlark

          It is my opinion, as a woman who has been in that situation, I can say the state failed me years ago when I needed an abortion, and it continues to do so now. I am hardly alone in that, as we have seen so many times.

          It’s a lie to say otherwise. I don’t care if it’s Enda’s last hurrah, he sure as poo won’t be getting a gold star from me.

    3. ahjayzis

      He’s getting a few MILLION in severance and pension – I think he can handle a few home truths before he retires into a state of wealth that completely insulates him from the society he’s helped create.

  3. MoyestWithExcitement

    Mr Martin only wants to apportion speaking time in the interest of fairness, not because he wants to shut anyone up. Definitely.

    1. Brother Barnabas

      the thing is: he still probably didn’t

      he just added in the little shoulder punches, winks and cowboy gun fingers

  4. Friscondo

    The appalling treatment of this girl was the result of spectacularly bad judgement by a psychiatrist, which was subsequently reversed by a second psychiatrist whose decision was vindicated by a court. This doesn’t excuse the trauma this girl and her family suffered, but blame should go to those deserving of it.

    1. Daisy Chainsaw

      Blame goes to the 8th amendment, the PLDPA and the current ruling government who support this bad, barbaric legislation that sees a raped child sectioned. If neither of these peices of legislation were in effect, the child (with support from her own mother) could have her medical wishes catered to without further trauma of being locked up against her will added to her being raped.

      1. Friscondo

        The psychiatrist had the option of not going down that route. He/she showed terribly poor judgement. I support repeal of 8th amendment, but turning this girls trauma into a club to bash Kenny is distasteful. She has suffered enough, without having to endure cynical exploitation of her tragic circumstances.

        1. pedeyw

          I’m not sure that citing a specific case as an example of how bad the legislation can go wrong is really cynical exploitation so much as it is highlighting how bad the legislation is.

        2. MoyestWithExcitement

          If archaic societal attitudes towards abortion weren’t emboldened by Enda’s administration, there’s a high chance that psychiatrist wouldn’t have taken that choice in the first place.

        3. Sheik Yahbouti

          Mairia Cahill anyone? (if we’re going to get sniffy about ‘cynical exploitation’)

  5. realPolithicks

    Fair play to Ruth Coppinger, we need more people like her who are prepared to cut through the BS and speak truth these pedal and crankers. And if you think that Varadkar will be any different you’re deluded.

  6. Brother Barnabas

    Love the face on Enda on he first photo

    He only half understands what she’s saying, but gets the gist of it – and is thinking “fupping b1tch “

  7. Junkface

    Now flip off Enda ye Fine Gael Pox! For giving US/Global Vulture funds free reign in Ireland to earn tax free while forcing families out of their homes. Is there anything less patriotic than that?

    1. Topsy

      Now now, didn’t you hear sleibhin Mickey (of – I helped in no small way to destroy the country) call Enda a patriot. So away with ya telling uncomfortable truths.

    1. Brother Barnabas

      It was quite correct not to permit his tenure end with a positive atmosphere

        1. mildred st. meadowlark

          So I saw. I got your back. Shall I go start cursing like a dockside worker?

          1. Brother Barnabas

            Rumour has it that Enda’s nephew is interning with Broadsheet at the moment. Explains a lot.

          2. mildred st. meadowlark

            I’m not one for conspiracy but, bugger me for a bunch of bananas, I’d say you’re onto something.

            Bottompansy. Ladypartbucket. Fuppdoodle. Thundertwit. Willygargler.


          3. mildred st. meadowlark

            And once more for the road! Enda is a gobpoo, and that’s about the nicest thing I can say today.

          4. mildred st. meadowlark

            You guys are no fun.

            I try to bring a bit of ingenuity to this place and you clearly don’t appreciate it AT ALL!

          5. Brother Barnabas

            Mildred, that was a truly wonderful collection of almost polite expletives – the joys of a creatively potty mouth.

            Shameful sabotaging by BS.

          6. mildred st. meadowlark

            I thought so too.

            No appreciation for my adept manipulation of the vulgar tongue.

            I am a veritable cornucopia of filth.

    2. MoyestWithExcitement

      A petty, personal attack on someone for expressing honest, empathetic concerns. Par for the course.

    3. Daisy Chainsaw

      What’s positive about ridding ourselves of one reactionary, anti women’s rights leader for another?

  8. Tony Groves

    I have no problem with anything Ruth said. She could have perhaps prefaced her point with a token platitude. But she’s 100% right in what she said and that is more important than any ceremonial correctness.

    1. Brother Barnabas

      Perhaps. But this country practically runs on token platitudes. Nice not to have to listen to them now and again.

    2. Toe Up

      There was an overload of token platitudes from the rest of the Dáil members. I applaud the manner in which she delivered her message, it was all the more powerful as a result of not being couched in faux adulation.

  9. Liz Butler

    Ruth Coppinger TD choose to put the feelings of a suicidal pregnant teenager and her mother before those of her fellow TDs. She also failed to be hypocritical or dishonest. Good on her!

  10. Frilly Keane

    tell ya sum’ting else
    anyone who could listen to all that poopy-send off talking for Edna
    and not vomit

    did well

    and the timing for Ruth Coppinger’s speech today couldn’t be better
    hon’d’ Mna

  11. Denito

    That Ruth Coppinger has zero class. If she wants to blame someone for the atrocious laws on abortion in this country, blame the 67% of voters who supported the eighth amendment and quit pretending that its toxic legacy can be easily unwound by a single Taoiseach or government.

    1. LW

      Is it fair to blame a government that has sat on its hands as public support grows for a repeal of the 8th amendment, through repeated condemnation from the UN? A government that after shirking responsibility by passing the matter off to the citizens assembly, now says the citizens assembly has gone too far? It may not be easy to unwind its toxic legacy, but doing nothing is definitely not helpful. Zero class? Don’t be ridiculous

    2. Nigel

      Feckin hell it isn’t as if the whole suicide provision wasn’t obviously a recipe for cruelty at the same time as being a stupid cop-out.

    3. mildred st. meadowlark

      Oh, but it could have, and couple that with the marriage ref, and Enda could’ve had a very different legacy.

      Yes, he would still be the Taoiseach who said he would ‘burn the bondholders’ (remember that, lads?) and broke his promise, the Taoiseach who presided over the highest rate of homelessness the country has seen in decades, and the man who knows the-man-with-two-pints, but he also would have been known as one of the most socially progressive Taoiseach’s the country has ever seen.

      But he didn’t. He stuck his head into the sand and thought that a few platitudes would suffice instead, and so, he is -rightly- being held to account for his astonishing lack of action on this. Kind of the hallmark of his tenure really, a lack of action and lots of speeches and empty promises.

      1. :-Joe


        He was a fuppin faulty robot who couldn’t even open his mouth without having a team of pr scum spending three weeks getting a program coded and preloaded into his tiny outdated cpu.

        It was like watching a toaster run a space exploration mission to uranus.


  12. Joe Small

    I’ve been to lots of retirement parties. No matter what you think of the person retiring its just good manners to say something nice for the occasion. It doesn’t cancel out years of complaining about them or subsequent years of reminiscing of how awful they were.
    Some people just have no generosity of spirit and are inherently miserable in themselves..

    1. LW

      This is not a retirement party. This is an opposition TD holding the leader of the government to account. What possible good could it serve for her to lie and spout some platitudes? Some people certainly have no generosity of spirit, but I’d argue that Ruth – speaking out on behalf of people ill-treated by our laws around reproductive health – is not one of these people

    2. Frilly Keane

      here Joe
      d’ya really think Edna is retiring

      like going off on the ’round the world cruise
      working on his golf handicap

      denying bookers from Miriam to Tubs to TV3

      my botty he is

  13. Denito

    If the populist Left parties in Ireland want to take away one thing from Corbyn’s relative success in last week’s election, it is that coming across as being personable enhances one’s appeal to voters.

    It is unimaginable that Corbyn would say anything like the things that Coppinger said in her speech yesterday if he was speaking in similar circumstances.

    1. MoyestWithExcitement

      Saint Enda is the giver of all love and should be protected from the angry peasants. He will be grateful for the loyalty you have showed him.

    2. I'm "alright" Jack. Mad Jack is on annual leave.

      After the next election the voter will be more ruth-less

  14. :-Joe

    Fair game and fair play to Ms. Coppinger, one of the few true politicians doing their job and in Ireland it’s mostly women and those who are independants and on the so-called “looney left”.

    Goodbye ennNNNNNDAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHH!!!!! You will not be missed by anyone with half a braincell tuned into what is wrong with the political class in this country.

    Unfortunately the 60%-ish are too ignorant, deluded and brainwashed so keep voting for your ilk and against their own self interests.

    The head schoolteacher has left the building and handed the keys over to the class president. A younger, more modern colourful version of a typical oirish west-brit tory.

    I’m just glad we dont have a military force worth asking to help or any arms to sell and screw up the rest of the world even more with a failed foreign policy to match our failure of social equality.

    Your pathetic legacy is nothing more than passing the buck and kicking every responsibility down the road…

    I’m not even mildly annoyed because you are just blandness personified, more of the same, business as usual…. about as usefull as a fart in a space station.

    Cheerio, ye fuppin clown…


      1. :-Joe

        Varadker has been described as someone who is as obsessed with the 2 cents just as much as the 2 Billion euro.. A thatcherite… and a doctor who gave up on a career of living by the hypacratic oath for politics( ALARM BELLS RINGING) became a health minister and a minister for another and another dept. etc. etc. and has done nothing notable with any of those briefs. (WAKE UP PEOPLE THE WATER IS ALREADY OVER YOUR HEAD )

        What do I think?… He is just another political animal that sees an opportunity for power and has succeeded in getting it. Keep clapping you good little deluded fools, there’s nothing to see here folks…

        I have no respect or trust in any of the fine to fail two party coalition of the have’s and Varadker is just another version of the same puppet poster child with a brand new more colourful spoiler and flashing LED lights on the front.

        Labour used to represent the workers, maybe they’ll come back to reality one day but failing that or the so called “looney left” creating a credible alternative(for once) then the future progress lies in supporting local independants.

        No real advanced progress or evolution can be found in supporting the concentrated institutional power of the failed binary choice, zero sum rigged game and the same as each other party system.

        More diversity of representation means a more just and equal society for all. The rest is just lies and treachery… The political system in switzerland has been proven the best suited for democracy to flourish but there will be something more evolved eventually.

        The new version will probably be an algorithm connected to a blockchain run by a neural net of android cyber politicians while we’re all heading off to Mars terraforming into the future..

        As George Carlin said so succinctly, “The government does not give a fupp about you” and ” It’s all bu!!sh1t folks… and it’s bad for you”.


    1. :-Joe

      Hahaha….. Classic Harry Enfeild…

      Unfortunately it probably helped Blair the treacherous, turncoat, tory war criminal.

      Still, lol…


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